WASHINGTON—Governors can play an active role in improving how state and local agencies work together to produce useful homeland security and public health information during a disaster, according to a new issue brief released today by the National Governors Association.

Improving Preparedness Through Sharing Public Health and Homeland Security Information examines how states can combine and consolidate programs to avoid duplication of efforts. By directing agency heads and encouraging local governments to develop an integrated approach to sharing information among public health and homeland security agencies, states can greatly improve their situational awareness of emerging threats and disaster response.

“States face shrinking federal preparedness grant programs that support the development of public health preparedness and fusion centers,” said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. “Governors are finding innovative ways to bring the two together to keep our citizens safe.”

To improve information sharing and better protect the public, governors can take the following actions:

  • Promote a cross-agency culture of preparedness between homeland security and public health agencies;
  • Direct agencies to coordinate pre­paredness and response capabilities for emer­gencies;
  • Use state and local fusion centers to improve the sharing of public health and homeland security information;
  • Take advantage of federal programs that fund efforts to coordinate public health and homeland security agencies; and
  • Leverage cross-agency partnerships to support the state’s intelligence enterprise.

To learn more, please visit www.nga.org/cms/center/hsps.