THE MAGAZINE

Introduction to Homeland Security, Second Edition

By David O. Best, CPP, ISP, CBM

*****Introduction to Homeland Security, Second Edition. By Jane A. Bullock, George D. Haddow, Damon Coppola, Erdem Ergin, Lissa Westerman, and Sarp Yeletaysi; published by Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS International, Item #1686, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 534 pages; $70 (ASIS members), $77 (nonmembers).

No sooner was the term “homeland security” coined than did a cavalcade of books appear with that buzz phrase in the title. In its first edition, this book merited the right to use that term, and it continues to do so in this second edition.

There’s no question that the text achieves the authors’ goal of providing a complete source of practical information, programs, references, and best practices for emergency managers, public safety officials, and others. For security professionals who are involved in homeland security efforts, it provides a comprehensive overview of how DHS is structured, funded, and managed.

In this vein, one cannot help but be amazed at the multitude of government organizations and public sector entities that are involved in homeland security. Almost every government agency, every level of government, and every community seem to receive some sort of service, support, or funding from DHS. The authors show that, contrary to what some people think especially after Hurricane Katrina, there is a truly organized planning, response, and recovery mechanism in the government devoted to ensuring safety and security in the American homeland.

The structure of this book lends itself for classroom use. Each chapter has sidebars with detailed explanations of specific points or helpful chronologies. Tables and charts ably augment the text. Review questions test retention at the end of each chapter. An appendix at the end of each chapter provides details to support that chapter’s theme. For example, an appendix after the “Response and Recovery” chapter summarizes no fewer than 70 federal disaster-recovery programs.

At the same time, the book is a great reference tool. Appendices summarize key legislation such as the USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act of 2002. A list of state emergency management offices and homeland security contacts is another of many valuable resources.

Skillful writing and editing help guide the reader through a myriad of interrelated issues without disrupting the flow or pacing. Although the text focuses on emergency preparedness and management, comprehensive narratives cover such appropriate issues as terrorist-related hazards, technology, weapons of mass destruction, and communications.


Reviewer: David O. Best, CPP, ISP, CBM, works for ManTech Security & Mission Assurance as an information security analyst. He is based in Rosslyn, Virginia, and is a member of ASIS International.

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