Introduction to Transportation Security310
evolved to nally recognize the key role of the private sector in the manage-
ment of disaster response and recovery.
On September 11, 2001, the U.S. mainland was attacked by a foreign
enemy for the rst time since the War of 1812. is tragedy was the result of
terrorist activity, the end of a well planned and executed approach to taking
down the World Trade Center—the symbol of Western wealth and economic
dominance—and attacking the nation’s capital. While various exercises had
postulated some elements of the 9/11 attacks, the missing link was organized
intelligence sharing among federal agencies. Aer rating the attacks of 9/11
as a “failure of imagination,” the Congress and Executive Branch created
new systems to enhance nationwide preparedness for future terrorist attacks,
including the creation of an “intelligence czar.” e National Intelligence
Program coordinates “foreign, military and domestic intelligence in defense
of the homeland and of United States interests abroad” (ODNI, n.d.).
A series of Homeland Security presidential directives shaped a new national
approach to disaster preparedness. e National Incident Management
System (NIMS) was mandated by HSPD-5. Concern for the safety of criti-
cal infrastructure was exemplied in HSPD-7. A coordinated preparedness
program was mandated by HSPD-8. Legislation created the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS), the State Homeland Security Grant Program
(consolidating previous antiterrorism grant programs), the Urban Area
Security Initiative (USAI) Program for developing protection of the nation’s
large cities, and enhanced the Metropolitan Medical Response System’s
(MMRS) funding and mission.
In every case, the focus was on government’s response to terrorism. e
four phases of emergency management were supplanted by the ve phases
of homeland security: prevention, protection, preparedness, response, and
recovery. e Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was sub-
sumed under the DHS organization chart, and the FEMA director became
just one more bureau chief in the largest federal department, without access
to the president or even to his own cabinet secretary.
Katrina and New Orleans:
A Failure of Initiative
FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was rated a “failure
of initiative” by Congress, as the organization struggled under DHS control.
FEMA’s director, Michael Brown, could not get the National Coordination
Center to provide busses until a DHS analyst determined whether 500 bus-
ses were actually needed. Secretary Michael Cherto did not want to pro-
vide federal assets until he was sure whether the levees had been breached or
were overtopped. Unlike James Witt, former director of FEMA who had had