To begin, the term “Homeland Security” is not used in any other English-speaking country except the U.S. It refers officially to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and unofficially to the set of efforts to protect, secure and prepare America against internal and external threats. The DHS was put together during the Bush administration in 2002. Homeland security applies also to the joint efforts of the American people to protect and secure themselves and their homeland.
The DHS was created to help prepare and disclose emergency information to secure America against internal and external threats. Briefly, an external threat may be a nuclear menace from another group or country, chemical and biological hazards and even pandemic level diseases like the very recent influenza. Among the internal threats, there are all kinds of natural disasters, whether earthquakes, uncontrolled fires, cataclysmic events, that may not pose a national level risk but do present local devastation.
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A nuclear threat is something the Dept of Homeland Security is very concerned about because in these days any relatively small group may acquire a small nuclear device and produce a nuclear devastation in American’s homeland. Since the days of the cold war a nuclear menace is something of major interest for the United States government (and of main interest for Homeland Security), only that now small terrorist groups occupies the place of former armed countries and therefore the severity of the emergency. Perhaps the fear of a nuclear war is no longer sustained because the world seems to be “growing” in some respect, but now terrorist groups fire the alarms of the DHS.
A chemical hazard is by definition an external menace (provided it is generated by a foreign group or country), it is the release of substances potentially dangerous for humans and/or the environment in the short or long term. A chemical hazard may be produced as a terrorist act or war act, but also could be an unfortunate incident, both are the competency of the Dept of Homeland Security.
Chemical accidents occur more often at industrial facilities where toxic materials are kept.
A biological hazard also known as “biohazard” is any substance that is an organism or derived from an organism that actually poses a threat to the human life or to other forms of life. This hazardous substance is spilled in the environment and from there it affects life, causing horrific deaths most of the times by disease.
There are 4 levels of Biological Hazard. In this level the precautions for the biohazard are minimum. This is like daily viruses. The illnesses got from the natural risk are mellow and effectively containable. Infections causing serious illnesses including passing. Immunizations are accessible.
Microscopic organisms or infections delivering a serious and lethal sickness for which there is no immunization or antitoxin
Pandemic Level Diseases
Pandemic diseases (like Influenza H1N1) are not from outside terrorist groups or countries, but mainly because of infectious diseases that spread among large regions of human-occupied territory. Homeland security and the Dept of Homeland Security takes care of this kind of emergencies very carefully. Often, the best source to counterattack pandemic diseases is accurate emergency information.
The recent influenza H1N1 has been on the latest pandemic level diseases. Pandemic threats are almost always naturally generated, Influenza H1N1 was controlled effectively.
Some of the most spread pandemic diseases across history:
“Homeland Defense” connotes the military facet, but Homeland security also carries a “civilian” meaning. It means the efforts made by the American population to assert the safety of the homeland. The concept of homeland security, at least in the United States, combines the efforts of several agencies that, back in 2002, were reconditioned by the George W. Bush administration to confirm a more centralized dependency. Those agencies forming the Department of Homeland Security are, among others:
United States National Guard
The United States Secret Service
United States Coast Guard
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Homeland security can be improved through increased surveillance in our homes.