GAO report finds gaps in emergency preparedness

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Dec. 19 released a report that detailed gaps in the nation's preparedness in the case of a catastrophic event categorized of having "no notice."

They also released suggestions on how to fix the government's shortcomings.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.,) co-chair of the National Security Working Group; Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.,) chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine); Sen. Mark Begich (D-Ark.) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas,) chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security released the report to address these concerns and to bring them to light.

“This report shows that additional steps and better coordination are needed at the federal level to make sure our agencies are prepared to respond to emergencies,” Casey said. “I’m hopeful that the administration will use this report to improve current policies and ensure that federal agencies with relevant jurisdiction are working with one another to enhance our nation’s preparedness.”

According to the report, increased coordination between federal agencies is essential for agents to consistently respond to these types of events. In light of the report, the Department of Homeland Security will implement protocols to do increase inter-agency cooperation and communication.
"Responding to a disaster is a shared responsibility by a number of agencies," Carper said. "While FEMA plays a central role in this effort, it’s crucial that other agencies are prepared and coordinate their response. I will continue to monitor agencies’ progress in implementing the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recommendations to improve overall coordination and collaboration."

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United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 340 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC - 20510

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