The preface of this document states, "President Bush has led a committed effort to strengthen the Nation's preparedness capabilities. The national preparedness architecture encompasses the full spectrum of prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare the Nation for all hazards - whether terrorist attack or natural disaster.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 (HSPD-8) of December 17, 2003 ("National Preparedness") directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal. As part of that effort, in March 2005 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Interim National Preparedness Goal. Publication of the National Preparedness Guidelines (Guidelines) finalizes development of the national goal and its related preparedness tools.
The Guidelines, including the supporting Target Capabilities List, simultaneously published online, supersedes the Interim National Preparedness Goal and defines what it means for the Nation to be prepared for all hazards. There are four critical elements of the Guidelines:
(1) The National Preparedness Vision, which provides a concise statement of the core preparedness goal for the Nation.
(2) The National Planning Scenarios, which depict a diverse set of high-consequence threat scenarios of both potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Collectively, the 15 scenarios are designed to focus contingency planning for homeland security preparedness work at all levels of government and with the private sector. The scenarios form the basis for coordinated Federal planning, training, exercises, and grant investments needed to prepare for emergencies of all types.
(3) The Universal Task List (UTL), which is a menu of some 1,600 unique tasks that can facilitate efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from the major events that are represented by the National Planning Scenarios. It presents a common vocabulary and identifies key tasks that support development of essential capabilities among organizations at all levels. Of course, no entity will perform every task.
(4) The Target Capabilities List (TCL), which defines 37 specific capabilities that communities, the private sector, and all levels of government should collectively possess in order to respond effectively to disasters.
The Guidelines reinforce the fact that preparedness is a shared responsibility. They were developed through an extensive process that involved more than 1,500 Federal, State, and local officials and more than 120 national associations. They also integrate lessons learned following Hurricane Katrina and a 2006 review of States' and major cities' emergency operations and evacuation plans.
Protecting America requires constant vigilance and innovation. These Guidelines will shape and support preparedness activities in the months and years ahead, while growing and evolving with the Nation as it strengthens preparedness at all levels of government and within the private sector."