New York State has a long history of natural and human-made disasters, which makes it one of the most hazardous places in the US. It is subjected to almost all known catastrophes and crimes causing immeasurable damage and life losses. The state is rather successful at preventing natural disasters such as storms. However, it still requires unceasing attention from the authorities and the community when it concerns man-made criminal deeds. The state has already made considerable efforts to improve emergency preparedness strategy aimed at organizing homeland security efforts so that all the stakeholders could contribute to the provision of safety (Collins, 2016).
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To meet this vision, homeland security strategy centers around five major areas (Collins, 2016):
- prevention (preventing man-made crimes involving heavy life losses through the dissemination of information and thorough investigation);
- protection (protecting citizens of the state from both natural disasters and man-made crimes developing and implementing a risk management approach);
- mitigation (lessening the impact of those disasters and crimes that have already occurred through the coordinated effort of all stakeholders involved);
- response (responding quickly to all life-threatening cases to save people, render medical aid, protect their property, provide them with all necessary resources, and prevent further harm);
- recovery (if the disaster involves disruption of essential services, it is essential to restore them in due time).
Some parts of the strategy are state-specific since New York is one of the states that have to struggle against an increasing number of terrorist attacks. To deal with them, the following plan has been developed (Collins, 2016):
- strengthening preparedness for the attacks by obtaining the required equipment and resources that are necessary for identifying and responding to terrorist acts;
- ensuring the safety of critical infrastructure of the state by performing regular risk assessments of the hazardous environment and developing mitigation measures;
- disseminating information about the existing risks among the citizens;
- developing a partnership with national authorities to ensure support in critical situations;
- addressing terrorism-related laws to reinforce the legislation and address acts of terrorism through national operations;
- developing emergency management activities to be able to prepare for the worst possible outcomes (e.g. in case a terrorist attack has already occurred resulting in a huge number of casualties);
- ensuring the successful operation of the communication network for providing efficient interaction of stakeholders and immediate response in case of emergency;
- promoting community preparedness by educating the population of the state in terms of people’s ability to sustain their living for 1-2 weeks after the crime/disaster occurs if an emergency team cannot reach them in due time;
- increasing people’s awareness in health care providers connected with their ability to render the first aid to the injured in case health care specialists’ services are not available;
- strengthening resilience against possible future crimes and catastrophes by investing in resilience planning that would allow all the systems of protection to sustain during the critical period and afterward;
- introducing policies aimed at preventing cyber attacks as a part of a terrorist program that can bring about deplorable consequences for the population.
All the enumerated areas of security provision as well as the goals of the strategy implementation align with the National Security program aimed at reducing crime rates as well as preventing the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters (Collins, 2016).
Collins, A. (2016). Contemporary security studies. Oxford, UK: Oxford university press.