Gov. Scott Walker recently announced that he has approved the updated Wisconsin Homeland Security Strategy, which is a collaborative interagency effort to guide Wisconsin’s emergency response and recovery efforts to major disasters and emergencies.
The strategy focuses on 11 specified priorities that include improving information sharing and analysis, cyber preparedness, maintaining the continuity of government services in an emergency, and citizen/business participation. It also serves as a guide for allocation of state and federal resources and funding priorities.
The Homeland Security Strategy was originally developed in 2009 and the current version will be used through 2015.
According to the Chairman of the Wisconsin Homeland Security Council, there has been a more collaborative approach to preparedness and response strategies since 9/11. Some of these include:
- Creation and sustainment of two fusion centers (for terrorism prevention and response).
- NIMS (National Incident Management System) training at all levels with exercise scenarios that address all hazards.
- A homeland security council was established.
- Better partnerships with federal agencies including DHS (Department of Homeland Security), FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), and the FBI.
- The planning, training and exercising as well as the equipment purchases have helped our first responders with response efforts to any emergency.
- The National Guard is engaged with Wisconsin Emergency Management in planning and exercising with local and federal agencies. The Guard has prepared plans for support across the Emergency Support Function spectrum.
The Wisconsin Homeland Security Council will continue to produce an annual report each fall to review past events and report on the state’s progress.