The US government has designated the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as an "incident of national significance
The detonation and subsequent effects resulted in the declaration of an incident of national significance
, the appointment of a principal Federal official by DHS, and a subsequent Presidential disaster declaration.
IT DIDN'T TAKE an incident of national significance
for city officials in Danville, Virginia, to understand the importance of interoperable communications.
In similar fashion, the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5 establishes threshold criteria for an event to qualify as an incident of national significance warranting a coordinated federal response.
To qualify as an incident of national significance, an event must meet one of four criteria.
Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff did not declare Hurricane Katrina an Incident of National Significance until August 30, the evening after the hurricane made landfall, making a proactive federal response under the NRP moot.
That evening, in response to levee breaches and consequent flooding in New Orleans, the DHS Secretary declared Katrina an Incident of National Significance. By Wednesday, August 31, DOD medical airlift operations from the affected area were underway, and the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan arrived off New Orleans.
The National Response Plan further recognizes the potential magnitude of threats from weapons of mass destruction and severe natural disasters by adoption of a new term, "Incident of National Significance
." An incident of national significance
is described as an incident with high impact requiring an extensive and well-coordinated response by federal, state, local, tribal, and nongovernmental authorities to save lives, minimize damage, and provide the basis for long-term community and economic recovery.
These "first responders" will be on the scene when what was first seen to be a relatively minor incident comes to be recognized as an Incident of National Significance (as defined in the National Response Plan, discussed on page 22 of this report).
* What steps have been taken by DHS and DoD to ensure that coordination, and not conflict, occurs when a terrorist attack results in a determination that an Incident of National Significance has occurred?