On Monday afternoon I had the opportunity to participate in a Department of Homeland Security Blogger’s Round Table. The round table was held to not only kick-off the second part of the National Homeland Security Dialogue but also to discuss the results from the first dialogue.
It was an honor to be invited and included among such an outstanding group of blogger’s including two of my favorites, John Solomon of InCaseofEmergencyBlog and Christopher Bellavita of Homeland Security Watch . If you don’t have these two sites bookmarked, you’ll want to add them. Both are incredibly articulate, informative writers who regularly put forth some of the best, most insightful ideas and approaches to homeland security and preparedness that you’ll find anywhere.
Back to the QHSR. Now I could provide a lot of the details from the meeting upfront, however if you don’t read the entire post you’ll miss the most important takeaway from it, so here it is.
If you’ve registered and are participating in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR),your comments are being read, your voice is being heard, and your ideas are being considered and discussed at the highest levels in the Department of Homeland Security.
One brief but convincing example to illustrate this point would be the removal of the term “man made disaster” from the lexicon shortly after the first dialogue. Comments in regards to the term were brought up, considered by the working group and based on feedback from round one it was immediately removed. DHS is not only listening, they’re engaged and responding to your ideas and comments… And they want more.
I encourage you to not take this lightly. You’re making a difference and helping to shape at least the next four years of Homeland Security strategy and policy. This is a unique and very rare opportunity, one that I know many of you have hoped for, for a very long time. If you haven’t participated up to this point, it’s not too late. Now is the time to register and get involved. Register here.
Alan Cohn, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Strategic Planning for the Department of Homeland Security was the moderator for the round table and he shared the results from the first dialogue with the group. Over 20,000 individuals have visited the site, with over 8200 participants and over 200 separate proposals. Many of YOU are included in these numbers. Outstanding results for a new initiative such as this.
It was obvious from his comments and enthusiasm that he and the various working groups at DHS are very excited with the participation thus far and hopeful that even more of you submit your ideas and comments for consideration in this second round.
The second round will run through September 6th so time is short. With the Labor Day weekend coming up, don’t delay in submitting your ideas and comments early.
To participate, you can go to directly to the site at www.homelandsecuritydialogue.org
Once logged in, the online tool allows you to prioritize the objectives in the various categories by allocating points to each objective. You can allocate points in increments of 10 and the number of points you have to allocate per goal is dependent on the number of objectives in each goal. (This will make more sense once you log in)
You can assign negative points to objectives that you think are less important resulting in more points for you to assign to other objectives.
The categories are as follows:
- Counterterrorism and Domestic Security
- Securing Our Borders
- Tough, Smart Enforcement of Immigration Laws
- Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters
- Homeland Security Nation Risk Assessment
- Homeland Security Planning and Capabilities
If you’ve been an armchair Homeland Security quarterback in the past (and I know there’s many of you from the comments and emails I receive daily) now’s the time to step up, get in the game and get your ideas on the table. The primary goal in this second round is simple; increase participation, comments and ideas.
This really is your opportunity to make a difference, take advantage of it.