Risk Management and Homeland Security

Risk Management and Homeland Security

Read the below discussion and reply. Do you agree or disagree. Why?

1. What is a standard risk assessment formula? Define the variables in the formula. Should each variable in the risk formula be weighed equally or should different variables have different weights? Explain your rationale.

Risk assessment has become a large topic of interest since the attacks of September 11th. Many reports exist on the subject and legislation points to the fact that we should use risk assessments to help keep the government safe. The standard risk assessment formula is R=f(TxVxC). R is the level of risk we are willing to take. F stands for function, which is dependent on T, V, and C. T stands for threat. This function establishes the probability that a target will be attacked or an event will happen. V stands for vulnerability. This looks at how vulnerable a target is or how weak it is. In other words the easier it is to attack the target the higher the vulnerability. The final factor in this equation is C, which stands for consequence. This measures the effects of the attack. For example a nuclear bomb would have greater consequences than a regular mail bomb. As far as weight to each variable go, they should be weighted differently. Every situation is dependent on the circumstances surrounding it. Therefore, not every situation is the same. Take football for example. Two teams playing each other in the regular season, though a potential terrorist target would not be weighted the same as the same two teams playing against each other in the super bowl. The simple circumstances of the event change the way we weight each individual part.

2. How does the perception of risk influence risk management programs, including such aspects of weighting of risk elements and acceptable level so risk?

Terrorism can be a complete mind game. Little attacks can grow into larger issues and can help turn people against each other and the government (Kamien 2012). Perception is everything in today’s society. For this reason, perception plays a huge role in how we handle risk management programs. Because we live in a free society we can’t just lock everyone down for the purpose of safety. The pure fact of freedom forces us to take some risks. Surveillance cameras and profiling are two great examples of this (Kamien 2012). Those these two things keep us safe, there is push back because it infringes on our civil liberties. Therefore, the level of acceptable risk is taken and it’s all due to perception in the community. Finally, there are institutions out there that may or may not improve safety. The TSA has always been a hot topic on this front. Though they appear to keep us safe, there are many reports and instances where the TSA have failed miserably and do not always work the way it should. The perception however is enough to make folks feel like 100% of the baggage is being checked and secu#D74B4B even when it isn’t.

3. Describe the benefit of a risk management program as applied to homeland security operations.
Risk management can do a lot to help homeland security. One of the main ways is that it helps policy makers make better-informed decisions on security (GAO 2008). It can help set organizations up for success. Throughout all of the organizations, risk management helps authorities to prioritize and focus on the important issues of homeland security. By using risk management programs, we can better utilize our limited resources to help increase the overall security of the United States. Finally, they help identify weak areas so we can concentrate on them and fix them to ensure we do not have a major attack happen.

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