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District Programs Section Chief
The September 11th attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami have demonstrated the need for effective planning and coordinated emergency responses to large scale disasters. These events also showed that disasters have no boundaries and can have an impact over an entire region.
This is true not only of global or national disasters, but also local emergencies as well. In Indiana, natural disasters like tornadoes, floods and winter storms can impact dozens of counties in a single event. For example, during the severe weather and flooding of June 2008, over half the counties in the State of Indiana were affected. The response to this large-scale incident required a massive mutual aid response and the activation of state and federal resources.
In the event of a disaster that affects multiple counties and jurisdictions, coordinating an effective emergency response will be both critically important and incredibly difficult. It will be necessary for multiple agencies, departments and governmental entities to put forth a coordinated effort to save lives and meet the immediate needs of their communities. To assist local emergency responders and government officials, as well as improve overall coordination, the State of Indiana has developed the District Planning Council (DPC) and District Task Force (DTF) Programs.
Collaboration is the key element in Indiana’s Strategy for Homeland Security. To encourage regional cooperation and teamwork, Indiana has been divided into ten Homeland Security Districts. The District Planning Council and District Task Force programs were developed to assist each of Indiana’s ten Homeland Security Districts in planning, organizing and managing critical emergency response activities on a regional basis. These programs bring together multiple jurisdictions, disciplines and agencies into a formal organizational structure to focus on common strategic goals and objectives.