FINAL REPORT: The Chemical Threat & The State of Chemical Preparedness

This DomPrep report and survey on U.S. chemical preparedness (and the steps needed to improve it) finds DomPrep members very much in synch with the views of the DomPrep40. Both groups are highly attuned to the chemical threat and what it might mean for local emergency managers. Moreover, although local jurisdictions may consider a chemical warfare agent or TIC/TIM (toxic industrial chemical/toxic industrial material) event as high-consequence/low probability, they do not necessarily have the time, talent, and financial resources needed to apply to increasing local preparedness for such events.

“Much more can be done in policy and process at the national level to help local emergency managers be better prepared,” says DomPrep40 member Major General Stephen V. Reeves, USA (Ret.), the Pentagon’s former Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense, who prepared the survey. Citing the use of chemical detectors as an example, General Reeves comments that, “We can’t leave most local emergency managers on their own to determine what an acceptable standard is. This survey was an attempt to arrive at a consensus on the policy and process holes which – if filled – can help a local emergency manager make better decisions and be better prepared.”

Key Findings: DomPrep members validated the sharply defined consensus view of the DomPrep40. The chemical threat is real. Chemical preparedness is inadequate. What is most needed now are government standards for chemical detection equipment and an “approved products list” for DHS (Department of Homeland Security) grant funds.

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Stephen Reeves

Major General Stephen Reeves, USA (Ret.), is a highly accomplished senior executive and an internationally recognized expert on chemical and biological defense as well as defense acquisition. He has testified as an expert witness on multiple occasions before the U.S. Congress and has been interviewed numerous times by the national and international print and television press. He also is a frequent speaker at both national and international defense and homeland security conferences. Experienced in leading and managing large, diverse, global, multi-billion dollar organizations, he established, and for seven years led, the first DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.

John F. Morton

John F. Morton is the Strategic Advisor for DomPrep. He is also the Homeland Security Team Lead for the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR). A member of the DomPrep team since its founding, he has served as managing editor for writer assignments and interviewer for scores of DomPrep audio interviews.



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