Governors play a critical role in homeland security. State and local law enforcement and health personnel provide the first line of defense in protecting critical infrastructure and public health and safety. When an incident occurs, state and local personnel often are the first to arrive and the last to leave. Governors, with the support of the federal government, are responsible for coordinating state and local resources to effectively prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters, disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism and other major emergencies.
Through regional forums and national policy summits, the NGA Center for Best Practices brings together governors’ homeland security policy advisors, state emergency management directors, law enforcement and fire officials and public health professionals to examine critical policy issues related to the nation’s terrorism and emergency preparedness and response activities. Project activities include:
+ Providing practical information and guidance for governors and their staffs to help them plan for and respond to emergencies;
+ Hosting workshops and conferences to explore challenges, policy solutions and improved coordination among federal, state and local officials to address emergencies and terrorist incidents; and
+ Facilitating information exchange among states on best practices and innovations for improving homeland security.