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NAS Committee Report: Review the Department of Homeland Security's Approach to Risk Analysis

News

October 7, 2010


Exponent consultant Dr. Robin Cantor was a member of the National Resource Council (NAS) Committee which recently released a report: Review the Department of Homeland Security's Approach to Risk Analysis.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), created in 2003 with the principal mission of leading efforts to secure the nation against forces that wish to do our nation harm, also has responsibilities in regard to preparation for and response to other hazards and disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, and other "natural" disasters. Whether in the context of preparedness, response, or recovery from terrorism, illegal entry to the country, or natural disasters, DHS is committed to processes and methods that feature risk assessment as a critical component for making better-informed decisions.

Review of the Department of Homeland Security's Approach to Risk Analysis explores how DHS is building its capabilities in risk analysis to inform decision making. The department uses risk analysis to inform decisions ranging from high-level policy choices to fine-scale protocols that guide the minute-by-minute actions of DHS employees. Although DHS is responsible for mitigating a range of threats, natural disasters, and pandemics, its risk analysis efforts are weighted heavily toward terrorism. In addition to assessing the capability of DHS risk analysis methods to support decision-making, the book evaluates the quality of the current approach to estimating risk and discusses how to improve current risk analysis procedures.

Review of the Department of Homeland Security's Approach to Risk Analysis recommends that DHS continue to build its integrated risk management framework. It also suggests that the department improve the way models are developed and used and follow time-tested scientific practices, among other recommendations.

Read more:  http://nationalacademies.org/morenews/20100916.html