New National Preparedness System Description Lays Groundwork for Achieving National Preparedness Goal

On December 8th, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued the National Preparedness System description to help lay the groundwork for strengthening the nation’s resilience against all threats and hazards.  The system description is the second deliverable required under Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8:  National Preparedness, which was released March 30, 2011.

The National Preparedness System description identifies six components to improve national preparedness for a wide range of threats and hazards, such as acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters.  The System description explains how, as a nation, we will build on current efforts — many of which are already established in the law and have been in use for many years.  The National Preparedness System description incorporates input from state, local, tribal, and territorial representatives, many of whom also served on the writing team for the document.  The six components of the National Preparedness System are:

  • Identifying and assessing risks;
  • Estimating capability requirements;
  • Building or sustaining capabilities;
  • Developing and implementing plans to deliver those capabilities;
  • Validating and monitoring progress made toward achieving the National Preparedness Goal; and
  • Reviewing and updating efforts as needed to promote continuous improvement.

The National Preparedness Goal, which was the first deliverable to PPD-8 and was released on October 7, 2011, sets the foundation for the implementation of PPD-8.  The directive also called for the development of a National Preparedness System description to explain the resources and tools needed to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.

The National Preparedness System description and additional information about PPD-8 and its implementation are available at