South border risk

We're the ideal place for homework help. If you are looking for affordable, custom-written, high-quality and non-plagiarized papers, your student life just became easier with us. Click either of the buttons below to place your order.


Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper

To complete your vulnerability assessment of the Southern Border of the U.S. use the material and guide contained in the link below to complete your assessment. Make sure to cover all five areas in your submission. Remember you are assuming the Director of Homeland Security role in writing this material.

1. Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern. Based on past experience, forecasting, expert judgment, and available resources, identify a list of the threats and hazards of concern to the community.

2. Give Threats and Hazards Context. Using the list of threats and hazards, develop context that shows how those threats and hazards may affect the community.

3. Examine the Core Capabilities Using the Threats and Hazards. Using the threat and hazard context, identify impacts to the community through the lens of the core capabilities described in the Goal.

4. Set Capability Targets. Looking across the estimated impacts to the community, in the context of each core capability and coupled with a jurisdiction’s desired outcomes, set capability targets.

5. Apply the Results. Plan for the ability to deliver the targeted level of capability with either community assets or through mutual aid, identify mitigation opportunities, and drive preparedness activities. 

APA style 6 pages of an actual work I don’t need a title page only reference page.

Add 5 References or more

And can be done by 11pm today 

Threat and Hazard Identification
and Risk Assessment (THIRA)
and Stakeholder Preparedness
Review (SPR) Guide
Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 201
3rd Edition
May 2018

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

2

Preface CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

3

Preface
Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 201, 3rd Edition, provides guidance for conducting a
Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and Stakeholder Preparedness
Review (SPR), formerly State Preparedness Report. The 1st Edition of CPG 201 (April 2012)
presented the basic steps of the THIRA process. Specifically, the 1st Edition described a
standard process for identifying community-specific threats and hazards and setting targets for
each core capability identified in the National Preparedness Goal. The 2nd Edition (August
2013) expanded the THIRA process to include resource estimation, streamlined the number of
steps in the process, and provided additional examples of how to develop a THIRA.

CPG 201, 3rd Edition, includes both the THIRA and SPR because they are interconnected
processes that, together, communities use to evaluate their preparedness. The 3rd Edition also
introduces updates to both methodologies. The THIRA includes standardized language to
describe threat and hazard impacts and capability targets. This allows communities to collect
more specific, quantitative information while also providing important context. Through the
updated SPR process, communities collect more detailed and actionable data on their current
capabilities and identified capability gaps. Communities then indicate their intended approaches
for addressing those gaps, and assess the impact of relevant funding sources on building and
sustaining capabilities.
Where appropriate, the 3rd Edition highlights key changes from previous editions of CPG 201.
This 3rd Edition supersedes the 2nd Edition of CPG 201.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Table of Contents

4

Table of Contents

Contents
Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Table of Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

The National Preparedness Goal ……………………………………………………………………………………. 5
The National Preparedness System ………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Using the THIRA/SPR Strategically ………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Community-Wide Involvement …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

The THIRA Process …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Introduction to the Three Steps of the THIRA ………………………………………………………………. 10
Step 1: Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern ……………………………………………………… 11
Step 2: Give the Threats and Hazards Context ………………………………………………………………. 15
Step 3: Establish Capability Targets …………………………………………………………………………….. 19

The SPR Process ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
Step 1: Assess Capabilities …………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
Step 2: Identify and Address Capability Gaps ……………………………………………………………….. 34
Step 3: Describe Impacts of Funding Sources ……………………………………………………………….. 39

Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 41
Glossary of Terms ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 42

Introduction CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

5

Introduction
The National Preparedness Goal
The National Preparedness Goal, Second Edition (2015)1 defines what it means for all
communities to be prepared for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security
of the United States. The National Preparedness Goal (“the Goal”) is:

A secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to
prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that

pose the greatest risk.

The Goal identifies 32 distinct activities, called core capabilities, needed to address the greatest
risks facing the Nation (see Figure 1). 2 The Goal organizes these core capabilities into five
categories, called mission areas.3 Some core capabilities apply to more than one mission area.
For example, the first three core capabilities—Planning, Public Information and Warning, and
Operational Coordination—are cross-cutting capabilities, meaning they apply to each of the five
mission areas.

The National Preparedness Goal describes the five mission areas as follows:

• Prevention: Prevent, avoid, or stop an imminent, threatened, or actual act of terrorism.

• Protection: Protect our citizens, residents, visitors, and assets against the greatest
threats and hazards in a manner that allows our interests, aspirations, and way of life to
thrive.

• Mitigation: Reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of future
disasters.

• Response: Respond quickly to save lives; protect property and the environment; and
meet basic human needs in the aftermath of an incident.

• Recovery: Recover through a focus on the timely restoration, strengthening, and
revitalization of infrastructure, housing, and a sustainable economy, as well as the
health, social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of communities affected by an
incident.

The mission areas and core capabilities organize the community-wide activities and tasks
performed before, during, and after disasters into a framework for achieving the goal of a
secure and resilient Nation.

1 For additional information on the National Preparedness Goal, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-
preparedness-goal.
2 For additional information on core capabilities, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/core-capabilities.
3 For additional information on mission areas, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/mission-areas.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Introduction

6

Figure 1: Five mission areas organize the 32 core capabilities needed to address threat and hazards of

concern.

The National Preparedness System
Communities assess, build, sustain, and deliver the core capabilities through an organized
process called the National Preparedness System.4 The National Preparedness System has six
components (see Figure 2), each of which ties into the others to guide community-wide
preparedness activities and achieve the Goal of a secure and resilient Nation.

4 For additional information on the National Preparedness System, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-
preparedness-system.

Introduction CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

7

Figure 2: There are six components of the National Preparedness System.

Using the THIRA/SPR Strategically
The THIRA/SPR sets a strategic foundation for putting the National Preparedness System into
action. Communities complete the THIRA every three years and use the data from the process to
assess their capabilities in the SPR, which is an annual review. It is important that communities
complete the THIRA on a multi-year cycle, as it enables them to assess year-over-year trends in
changes to their capabilities, while still periodically reviewing the capability targets to keep them
relevant.

The three-year THIRA/SPR cycle starts with the first step in the National Preparedness System:
Identifying and Assessing Risk. Risk is the potential for an unwanted outcome resulting from an
incident or occurrence, as determined by its likelihood and the associated consequences.5 In the
THIRA, communities identify risks with the potential to most challenge their capabilities and
expose areas in which the community is not as capable as it aims to be. These areas, or capability
gaps, create barriers in a community’s ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and
recover from a threat or hazard. Understanding the risks they face will make it easier for
communities to determine what level of capability they should plan to build and sustain.
Communities can use the information that comes from the THIRA/SPR process to answer five
key strategic questions about their preparedness risks and capabilities (see Figure 3).

5 DHS Risk Lexicon, June 2010: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/dhs-risk-lexicon-2010_0.pdf.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Introduction

8

Figure 3: Communities use the THIRA/SPR to answer five key questions.

Since 2012, communities have used the THIRA/SPR to answer these questions, helping them
better understand the risks their communities face. This helps communities make important
decisions on how to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats
and hazards that pose the greatest risks.

In addition to the Identifying and Assessing Risk component of the National Preparedness
System, communities use the THIRA/SPR for Estimating Capability Requirements. This
involves determining the specific level of capability that best addresses a community’s risks.
These community-specific capability levels are what communities use to determine their current
level of capability, identify their capability gaps, and identify how they can close those gaps. At
the end of the three-year THIRA/SPR cycle, communities reassess their risks by completing the
THIRA again and the process restarts. The outputs of the THIRA/SPR provide communities a
foundation to prioritize decisions, close gaps in capability, support continuous improvement
processes, and drive the other National Preparedness System components (see Figure 4).

Introduction CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

9

Figure 4: The THIRA/SPR fuels NPS implementation.

Community-Wide Involvement
Recognizing that preparedness is a shared responsibility, the National Preparedness System calls
for everyone—not just government agencies—to be involved in preparedness efforts.
Community-wide involvement is an important principle in preparedness that entails involving
stakeholders throughout preparedness development, and ensuring preparedness materials reflect
their roles and responsibilities. Including stakeholders early on and throughout the THIRA/SPR
process helps the community to conduct accurate and comprehensive assessments. Furthermore,
involving stakeholders throughout the process empowers them to use the data to help drive
priorities and investments within their own organizations.
As such, developing a comprehensive and accurate THIRA/SPR requires active community
involvement from stakeholders and subject-matter experts (SMEs), such as:
 Colleges/universities, and other research organizations
 Cybersecurity experts
 Emergency management/homeland security agencies
 Emergency Planning Committees
 Federal agencies (e.g. Department of Health and Human Services)
 FEMA regional offices
 Fire, police, emergency medical services, and health departments
 Hazard mitigation offices
 Infrastructure owners and operators
 Major urban area and state fusion centers
 National Laboratories
 National Weather Service offices
 Port or transit organizations
 Supply chain stakeholders
 Private sector partners (including the 16 critical infrastructure sectors)

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition The THIRA Process

10

 Professional associations
 Tribal governments
 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Protective Security Advisors
 Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)
 Other organizations or agencies with significant impact on the local economy

Communities should also include SMEs
from planning, exercises, mitigation,
training, and other key areas in their
THIRA/SPR process. Including the
perspectives and expertise of these key
stakeholders gives communities critical
information regarding planning factors
and capability levels across all mission
areas. As a result, emergency managers
will be well-positioned to provide
essential information about the status of
capabilities and consider THIRA/SPR data in their planning efforts, including the development
of strategic, operational, and tactical plans.

Importance of Community-Wide Involvement

The outputs of the THIRA/SPR process inform
all other preparedness activities; helping

communities identify challenges, drive priorities,
and close gaps in capabilities. Therefore, when

developing and updating THIRA/SPRs,
communities should ensure their assessment and
planning efforts include community-wide input

and perspectives.

The THIRA Process
Introduction to the Three Steps of the THIRA
The THIRA is a three-step risk assessment completed every three years. It helps communities
answer the following questions:
 What threats and hazards can affect our community?
 If they occurred, what impacts would those threats and hazards have on our community?
 Based on those impacts, what capabilities should our community have?

The THIRA helps communities understand their risks and determine the level of capability they
need in order to address those risks. The outputs from this process lay the foundation for
determining a community’s capability gaps during the SPR process.

This section describes the three-step process for developing a THIRA (see Figure 5):

Figure 5: There are three steps in the THIRA process.

THIRA Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

11

1. Identify Threats and Hazards of Concern: Based on a combination of experience,
forecasting, subject matter expertise, and other available resources, develop a list of threats
and hazards that could affect the community. When deciding what threats and hazards to
include in the THIRA, communities consider only those that challenge the community’s
ability to deliver at least one core capability
more than any other threat or hazard; the
THIRA is not intended to include less
challenging threats and hazards.

2. Give Threats and Hazards Context:
Describe the threats and hazards identified in
Step 1, showing how they may affect the
community and create challenges in
performing the core capabilities. Identify the
impacts a threat or hazard may have on a
community.

3. Establish Capability Targets: Using the impacts described in Step 2, determine the level of
capability that the community plans to achieve over time in order to manage the threats and
hazards it faces. Using standardized language, create capability targets for each of the core
capabilities based on this desired level of capability by identifying impacts, objectives, and
timeframe metrics.

THIRA: Key Changes
▪ FEMA now recommends that

communities complete the THIRA on a
three-year cycle, rather than annually.

▪ The THIRA is now a three-step
assessment; FEMA has removed
THIRA Step 4—Apply Results—from
the process.

Step 1: Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern
In Step 1 of the THIRA process, communities develop a list of threats and hazards (see Figure
6).

Figure 6: The output of Step 1 of the THIRA is a list of threats and hazards of concern.

Categories of Threats and Hazards
For the purposes of the THIRA, threats and hazards are organized into three categories.
 Natural hazards: acts of nature
 Technological hazards: accidents or the failures of systems and structures
 Human-caused incidents: the intentional actions of an adversary

Table 1 provides example threats and hazards for each of the three categories.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 1

12

Table 1: Example threats and hazards by category.

Natural Technological Human-caused

Avalanche

Drought

Earthquake

Epidemic

Flood

Hurricane/Typhoon

Space weather

Tornado

Tsunami

Volcanic eruption

Winter storm

Dam failure

Hazardous materials release

Industrial accident

Levee failure

Mine accident

Pipeline explosion

Radiological release

Train derailment

Transportation accident

Urban conflagration

Utility disruption

Active shooter incident

Armed assault

Biological attack

Chemical attack

Cyber-attack against data

Cyber-attack against
infrastructure

Explosives attack

Improvised nuclear attack

Nuclear terrorism attack

Radiological attack

Communities consider two criteria when
identifying threats and hazards for the
assessment: (1) the threat or hazard is
reasonably likely to affect the community;
and (2) the impact of the threat or hazard
challenges at least one of the 32 core
capabilities more than any other threat or
hazard. As a single incident may most
challenge the ability to perform multiple
core capabilities, the number of threats and hazards that each community includes will depend
on the specific risk profile of the community.
See Figure 7 for an example where a community selected an earthquake, a cyber-attack, a flood,
an active shooter, and a chemical hazmat release—each of which most challenged at least one
core capability.

The Most Challenging Threat or Hazard

For the purposes of this Guide, if a threat or
hazard “most challenges” a core capability, it
means that the community would struggle to

deliver the core capability during that specific
incident more so than for any other threat or

hazard.

THIRA Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

13

Figure 7: A single threat or hazard may most challenge more than one core capability.

Sources of Threat and Hazard Information
Consulting multiple sources during the THIRA process helps establish a comprehensive list of
the threats and hazards that communities may face. These sources may include, but are not
limited to:
 Existing Federal, state, local, and tribal strategic and operational plans
 Existing threat or hazard assessments (e.g., the Hazard Identification and Risk

Assessment)
 Forecasts or models of future risks due to changing weather and demographic patterns or

emerging threats
 Hazard mitigation plans
 Intelligence fusion center bulletins and assessments
 Local, regional, tribal, and neighboring community THIRAs
 Records from previous incidents, including historical data
 Homeland security and emergency management laws, policies, and procedures
 Private-sector plans and risk assessments, including those for lifeline functions

(communications, energy, transportation, and water)6
Factors for Selecting Threats and Hazards
When identifying threats and hazards to include in the THIRA, communities consider two key
factors: (1) the likelihood of a threat or hazard affecting the community; and (2) the challenge
presented by the impacts of that threat or hazard, should it occur.

6 Lifeline functions are functions that are essential to the operation of most critical infrastructure sectors. For
additional information on lifeline functions please visit:
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/national-infrastructure-protection-plan-2013-508.pdf.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 1

14

Factor #1: Likelihood of a Threat or Hazard Affecting a Community
For the purposes of the THIRA, “likelihood” is the chance of a given threat or hazard affecting a
community. Likelihood is important to consider because communities must allocate limited
resources strategically. A particular threat or hazard might be possible, but communities should
determine whether the likelihood of its occurrence is large enough to drive investment decisions.
Through the THIRA, communities
identify the threats and hazards that
are challenging enough to expose
their capability gaps, and are likely
enough that a community can
justify investing in the capabilities
necessary to manage those threats
and hazards.
The ability to predict the likelihood
of a specific incident varies greatly
across threats and hazards. Some
hazards, such as floods, have
mature prediction models that can
allow communities to calculate the
numerical probability of a specific
incident, such as 1 in 100 or 1 percent a year, with a moderate degree of accuracy. Other
incidents, such as terrorism, are more difficult to predict and communities may most easily
express them on a logarithmic scale, such as 1 in 1,000, or on an ordinal scale, such as low,
medium, and high. Regardless of how communities express the probability of a specific
incident, understanding the likelihood of their threats and hazards can help communities
understand capability requirements and prioritize investments.
Including estimates of probability in the THIRA is not necessary, but communities may do so if
they deem it appropriate. Communities can also consider additional sources for useful likelihood
and consequence information to inform their threat and hazard selections, such as hazard
mitigation plans. Regardless of whether probability is included in the THIRA process,
communities only consider those threats and hazards that could realistically occur.
Factor #2: The Impacts of a Threat or Hazard
The projected impacts of threats and hazards determine the level of capability that a community
will need to address those impacts. To understand their risks effectively, communities should
identify and select threats and hazards that have impacts that most challenge their communities,
and therefore their capabilities. When assessing impact, it is important to consider that different
incidents present different types of challenges. In some cases, the sheer magnitude of the
incident may be substantial. In other cases, there may be operational or coordination
complexities or economic and social challenges.
Communities may include as many threats or hazards in their THIRA as they desire but should,
at a minimum, include as many threats and hazards as needed to most challenge each of the 32
core capabilities.

Considering the Location of Threat and Hazard
Consequences

Although incidents may have wider regional or national
effects, communities completing the THIRA should

focus strictly on the consequences within their
community. In some cases, it may be useful to include
threats and hazards that occur in other locations if they

trigger local effects.

For Example:
An industrial accident at a chemical plant located in one

particular community could affect people in another
community who are downwind or downriver from the

accident.

THIRA Step 2 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

15

Step 2: Give the Threats and Hazards Context
In Step 2 of the THIRA process, communities create context descriptions and estimate the
impacts of the threats and hazards identified in Step 1 (see Figure 8). Context descriptions and
impacts inform THIRA Step 3 where communities determine the level of capability they would
like to achieve. When creating context
descriptions and estimating impacts,
communities should consider community-wide
sources, such as real-world incidents, SMEs,
exercises, response and recovery plans,
modeling, or tools. Identifying different sources
provides communities with key data points that
they can use to determine how a threat or hazard
may affect their community. For example, SMEs
can help shape context descriptions by outlining
the time, place, and location of the threat or
hazard in a way that shows how it challenges a
community’s capabilities.
Identifying sources of information is extremely
important for continuity of the assessment
process. Communities may not update the THIRA for several years, so there may be changes in
staff involved in the process between updates. The potential resulting loss in knowledge and
experience after staff turnover can make it challenging to maintain continuity between updates.
Citing sources helps to complete future THIRA updates, increasing consistency, improving data
credibility, and reducing duplication of effort.

THIRA Step 2: Key Changes
▪ Communities now identify the impacts

for their chosen threats and hazards in
Step 2, rather than Step 3, because this
flows more naturally from developing
context descriptions.

▪ Communities now estimate the impacts
of each threat and hazard using
standardized impact language
(numerical entry), rather than providing
free-text impacts, establishing a
common language for describing
impacts at all levels of government.

Figure 8: The outputs of Step 2 of the THIRA are context descriptions and impact numbers.

Step 2.1: Context Descriptions
In Step 2.1 of the THIRA, communities add context to each threat and hazard identified in Step
1. Context Descriptions are the details about a threat or hazard needed to identify the impacts it
will have on a community and includes critical details such as location, magnitude, and time
of an incident.
If an element of the scenario is essential to understanding the impact of an incident and the
capabilities required to manage it, that element should be included in the context description.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 2

16

For example, at night, residential structures have a higher occupancy, while during the day,
schools and office buildings have higher occupancies. In this example, search and rescue
missions would target different locations based on the time of the day the scenario occurs. See
Table 2 for more examples on how critical details can influence a context description.

Table 2: Questions to Consider When Developing Context Descriptions

Best Practices for Developing Context Descriptions
Questions to Consider Examples in Practice

How would the timing of an incident affect the
community’s ability to manage it? What time of day
and what season would be most likely or have the
greatest impact?

Community A is a very popular summer tourist
destination. A tornado occurring at 7:00 p.m. in
June might have the greatest impacts, as large
numbers of tourists will be on the roads
returning to their hotels.

How would the location of an incident affect the
community’s ability to manage it? Which locations
would be most likely or have the greatest impacts
(e.g., populated areas, coastal zones, industrial or
residential areas)?

Community B has a high population density in
the north and very low population density in the
south. A pandemic might result in the greatest
impacts in the north, where the disease can
spread among the population more quickly.

What other conditions or circumstances make the
threat or hazard of particular concern (e.g.,
atmospheric conditions like wind speed/direction
and relative humidity, or multiple incidents
occurring at the same time)?

Community C experiences a hazardous
materials release. The worst impacts might
occur on a day with increased wind speed
directed towards the highly populated
residential areas in the community.

What social or physical vulnerabilities make the
threat or hazard of particular concern? (e.g., flood
prone areas, populations with limited or no ability to
evacuate)?

Community D is located in a mountainous
region, with its population spread between the
suburban areas in the foothills and the rural
mountain communities. A wildfire might have
greater impacts in the mountain communities,
which have limited roads that the population
can use to evacuate and is more difficult to
access by response workers.

See the example context descriptions below for a comparison between sufficient and insufficient
levels of detail. The example with sufficient detail provides suggested types of information that
a community might want to consider including in their context descriptions.

Example Context Description: Insufficient Level of Detail

An active shooter incident occurs, involving multiple gunmen and many potential victims.
There are dozens of fatalities and injuries, and first responders arrive to the scene quickly.

There are reports that the incident may be related to terrorism.

THIRA Step 2 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

17

Example Context Description: Sufficient Level of Detail
At approximately 2:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, local police and State Troopers are

dispatched to Thiraland City Mall responding to reports of an active shooter situation. 9-1-1
calls from patrons report between one and four shooters, with varying reports of the types of
weapons, number of weapons, and number of injured people. At the time of the incident—
among the busiest the mall experiences during a normal week—the 1,200,000 square foot

facility was occupied by approximately 8,500 shoppers and employees. Upon arrival,
authorities find crowds pouring out of the mall’s exits. Some are unharmed while others are
severely injured. Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) units are en

route, with mutual aid EMS being dispatched. Shots are still heard inside, and the injury count
cannot be immediately estimated. The closest hospital facility is approximately 3 miles from

Thiraland City Mall. The closest Level I Trauma Center is approximately 18 miles from
Thiraland City Mall. The medical facilities have been notified of the incoming patients, but
the unknown number and extent of injuries, ongoing shortages of IV bags, and understaffing
raise concern about the facilities’ ability to care for the incoming victims. Within an hour, the

state fusion center is receiving credible intelligence of a terrorism link to the attack.

Step 2.2: Estimate Impacts
In Step 2.2, communities estimate the impacts a scenario would have on their community if the
threat or hazard occurred. Communities write impacts in the language of common emergency
management metrics, such as affected population, number of people requiring shelter, or
number of people requiring screening. The THIRA process uses a uniform set of these common
metrics, or standardized impact language (see Figure 9). The standardized impact language
represents metrics estimated by every community, and in most cases, across multiple different
threats and hazards. The estimated impact from this step provides the basis for creating
capability target statements in Step 3 of the THIRA process (see Figure 10).
When determining the impacts of a threat or hazard, it is important to engage relevant
stakeholders and SMEs that can provide varying perspectives. For example, when estimating
impacts and setting capability targets for the Infrastructure Systems core capability, including
input from each of the infrastructure sectors provides a holistic view of the different ways a
threat or hazard may challenge the capability.7

Figure 9: Impacts are developed by adding community-specific numbers to standardized impact language.

7 For additional information on the Critical Infrastructure sectors, please visit: https://www.dhs.gov/critical-
infrastructure-sectors. More information is also available at: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-
data/1471451918443-dbbb91fec8ffd1c59fd79f02be5afddd/Recovery_FIOP_2nd.pdf.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 2

18

Figure 10: Communities use standardized impacts data to create capability targets.

Communities develop capability targets in Step 3 based on their estimated impacts. As such,
communities identify a community-specific number for the standardized impact language in
Step 2.2 before proceeding to Step 3. Ideally, communities will estimate all standardized
impacts for each threat or hazard scenario. However, at a minimum, to develop capability targets
in THIRA Step 3, communities will
develop an estimate for each
standardized impact at least once
across all included threats and
hazards.
In addition to the impacts for which
there is standardized language,
communities may include as many
other impacts in their THIRA as they
deem appropriate. They may choose
to include additional non-standardized impact language, if they want to describe certain effects
of a disaster that are not included in the standardized impact language. Communities may find
this helpful when considering their threats and hazards. If a community chooses to estimate an
impact using data from only one scenario, they should use data from the scenario that would
create the most challenging impact.

Identifying the Most Challenging Impact
The impact with the largest number is not necessarily
always the most challenging to address. For example,
it may be more challenging to provide medical care to

a smaller number of individuals affected by a
radiological attack (which may include additional
considerations like decontamination or personal
protective equipment) than a larger number of

hurricane survivors.

THIRA Step 3 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

19

Step 3: Establish Capability Targets
In Step 3 of the THIRA process, communities establish capability targets—which describe the
level of capability a community plans to work toward achieving—for each of the 32 core
capabilities (see Figure 11). These capability targets are not a reflection of a community’s
current capability and may represent a
long-term desired capability level. To
develop capability targets, communities
consider what is required to address the
impacts of their threats and hazards. In
addition to the risks posed by their
threats and hazards, communities also
take into account expected resources
and other factors to determine the level
of capability their community plans to
work toward achieving.

Capability Targets

 For the purposes of the THIRA/SPR,
communities should view their capability targets
as the level of capability communities plan to
build to, instead of a target based on maximum
capability requirements.
 Communities can also include a maximum

requirement target in addition to their capability
target if they choose.

Figure 11: The outputs of Step 3 of the THIRA are capability targets that use standardized target language.

In the THIRA, communities create capability targets for each of the 32 core capabilities. To
create a capability target, communities fill in the blanks within the standardized target language
to show the level of capability they want to achieve. FEMA developed standardized target
language (see Figure 12) for each capability based on previous THIRA targets submitted by
communities, the National Planning Frameworks,8 the critical tasks in the Federal Interagency
Operational Plans (FIOPs),9 FEMA Core Capability Development Sheets,10 and community and
interagency feedback on draft versions of the targets.

8 For additional information on the National Planning Frameworks, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-
planning-frameworks.
9 For additional information on the FIOPs, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/federal-interagency-operational-
plans.
10 For additional information on the Core Capability Development Sheets, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/core-
capability-development-sheets.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 3

20

Figure 12: Standardized target statements allow communities to determine their specific needs.

The intent of standardized target language is to create measurable indicators of preparedness,
not a comprehensive list of everything a community must do to achieve each of the core
capabilities successfully. In addition to setting capability targets using the standardized
language, communities may also develop non-standardized capability targets if they find it
beneficial to capture other elements of their core capabilities.
Impacts, Objectives, and Timeframe Metrics
Each capability target describes a critical task that, when completed, helps communities
successfully manage a threat or hazard. These critical tasks (1) are based on the activities that
emergency managers plan for; and (2) define activities that must be performed for a wide variety
of threats and hazards, not only the
ones identified in the THIRA.
Additionally, communities
estimate which threat or hazard
most challenges their ability to
achieve the critical task described
in each capability target. This adds
more utility to the THIRA during
real-world incidents. For example,
if a hurricane is approaching
Community A, emergency
managers can look at their THIRA
data and see which critical tasks
Community A estimated would be
most challenged by a hurricane
and use that data to inform
decisions.

THIRA Step 3: Key Changes

▪ Communities insert community-specific numbers into
standardized target language to develop capability
targets, rather than provide free-text capability targets;
this establishes a common language for discussing and
establishing clear preparedness goals and better aligns
the THIRA process with planning.

▪ Communities now indicate which threat or hazard
places the greatest challenge on each critical task
described in a target, providing potentially useful
contextual information during response operations.

▪ Communities will only establish timeframe metrics
(formerly referred to as desired outcomes) within their
targets, and not also as a standalone element, reducing
duplication effort.

THIRA Step 3 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

21

Capability targets are specific and measurable; communities build them by combining impacts,
which represent the size of the capability requirement, and timeframe metrics, which represent
the timeframe in which the action must be performed (see Figure 13).

Figure 13: Capability targets are composed of impacts and timeframe metrics.

Impacts and Objectives
For each capability target, communities identify the level of capability they want to work toward
achieving. To determine this desired level of capability, communities consider the impacts of
their threats and hazards (as estimated in Step 2.2), estimated resource requirements, expected
available resources, and other relevant factors. The impact that a community selects for their
target does not need to match the impacts identified in Step 2.2. However, communities should
ensure they understand the risk posed by their threats and hazards and use that knowledge to
inform the impacts they include in their capability targets. For example, Community B estimates
that an earthquake will result in 890 miles of road affected while a wildfire will result in 700.
Community B lists “890” as its impact in Step 2.2 but this does not mean that they must set their
capability target as “clear 890 miles of road affected.” Communities can set their capability
target to the level they deem appropriate and should use their impact data to guide decisions on
what that level of capability should be. If a community selects an impact that is different from
the one identified in Step 2.2, they describe how they chose that impact and the sources used.
THIRA capability targets should reflect communities’ unique planning and investment
strategies.
In addition to capability targets, communities may also set an additional target called a
“maximum requirement” target. The maximum requirement reflects the highest level of a
potential capability requirement. This maximum requirement reflects the impacts of the threat or
hazard that most challenges the critical task described in the capability target.
It is important to note that not all capability targets are impact-based. While most targets use
post-incident quantitative impacts as explained above, some capabilities focus on preventing an
occurrence of or lessening the vulnerabilities that affect the scale of a threat or hazard. Instead of
a traditional standardized impact, these targets include a measurable objective that represents a
goal the community has set for that core capability (see Table 3).

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 3

22

Table 3: Examples of the two main types of capability targets.

Examples: Types of Capability Targets
Driven by Quantitative Impacts Driven by Measurable Objectives

Within (#) months of an incident, reopen (#)
businesses closed due to the incident.

Coordinate across state, local, and federal
communities and integrate with partners,
community-wide, to effectively invest (#) % of
all available mitigation funding, within (#) years.

Within (#) hours of an incident, complete triage,
begin definitive medical treatment, and transfer to
an appropriate facility (#) people requiring medical
care.

Every (#) months, (#) % of critical infrastructure
facilities conduct a risk assessment and
accompanying facility security level (FSL)
determination for assessing and addressing
changes in threats and vulnerabilities.

Timeframe Metrics
Timeframe metrics describe the timeframe or level of effort needed to successfully deliver core
capabilities. When constructing targets, it is not enough to know how much of an objective you
plan to accomplish, you may also need to know how quickly you must be able to activate that
capability, and how long you need to be able to sustain it. The answers to these questions will be
unique to the capability target in question.
When considering timeframes, communities should not be constrained by their current ability to
meet timeframes or other conditions of success; rather, they should identify the timeframe that
they desire to achieve. Communities should use the type of
metric that is most appropriate for the given capability. For the
core capability Mass Search and Rescue Operations that might
be “search (#) structures within # hours,” while for Threats
and Hazards Identification, a more appropriate timeframe
might be “model (#) scenarios every # years.” Communities
should work with SMEs and stakeholders to determine time-
based metrics that are most appropriate for each capability.
Developing Capability Targets
Capability targets define success for each core capability and describe what the community
wants to achieve. In the THIRA, communities create capability targets for the core capabilities
listed in the National Preparedness Goal. Communities use standardized language and
community-specific metrics to construct these targets.
For example, under the Critical Transportation core capability, the standardized target language
for debris removal is “Within (#) (time) of an incident, clear (#) miles of road affected, to enable
access for emergency responders, including private and non-profit.” In this example, a
community would choose a time-based metric (i.e., hours), and fill in the number of hours and
miles of affected road to capture the level of capability they plan to work toward achieving.
In addition to setting capability targets using the standardized target language for each of the 32
core capabilities, communities may also want to develop additional targets. These additional
targets can capture goals to achieve additional capabilities or critical tasks that are specific to the
community’s needs.

Timeframe Metrics
Communities can use the

following timeframe metrics:

 (#) minutes
 (#) hours
 (#) days
 (#) weeks
 (#) years

The SPR Process CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

23

The SPR Process
The SPR is an annual three-step self-assessment of a community’s capability levels based on the
capability targets identified in the THIRA. It helps answer the questions:

 What are our current capability levels and how have our capabilities changed over the
last year?

 What gaps exist between the capabilities we want to achieve and the capabilities we
currently have?

 What do we need to do to close the capability gaps or sustain the capabilities?
 What impact did different funding sources—including grants—have on building or

sustaining the capabilities assessed by the capability targets over the last year?

Figure 14: The SPR process consists of three steps, building off the capability targets developed in the

THIRA.

The SPR supports the National Preparedness System by helping to identify current capabilities
and capability gaps in preparedness at the community level. States, territories, tribes, urban
areas, and the Federal Government use the SPR results to prioritize capabilities to build and
sustain, plan for threats and hazards, and validate capabilities.
Developing an accurate and complete SPR requires the perspectives of a broad range of
informed stakeholders and SMEs from a variety of fields. Communities are encouraged to seek
input from community stakeholders and SMEs, including local governments (such as counties
and townships), businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, lifeline
functions (communications, energy, transportation and water), and institutions of higher
education.
This section describes a three-step process for completing an SPR (see Figure 14):
1. Assess Capabilities. Based on the language from the capability targets set in THIRA Step 3,

identify the community’s current capability and how that capability changed over the last
year, including capabilities lost, sustained, and built. Then, provide additional context to
explain the reported data and its sources.

2. Identify Capability Gaps and Intended Approaches to Address Them. Determine the
causes of the capability gap between the capability target and the current capability
identified in SPR Step 1. Then, describe the actions and investments needed to close the
capability gap or sustain the capability.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 1

24

3. Describe the Impacts of Funding Sources. Identify how relevant funding sources,
including but not limited to grant programs and the community’s own resources, helped to
build or sustain the capabilities assessed by the capability targets and describe how those
capabilities were used in a real-world incident(s) over the past year.

Step 1: Assess Capabilities
The purpose of Step 1 of the SPR is to assess and describe a community’s current capability and
how the capability has changed during the last year (see Figure 14). There are three primary
elements in Step 1 of the SPR:

 Step 1.1: Communities quantitatively
assess their current capability and how
that capability has changed over the last
year.

 Step 1.2: Communities qualitatively
describe how their capabilities have
changed over the last year.

 Step 1.3: Communities provide context
on how they calculated their capability
and how confident they are in that
assessment.

SPR: Key Changes

 Communities now assess their current
capability using the same language as
their capability target, rather than
assigning 1-5 ratings to core capabilities.

 Communities will also now provide
free-text descriptions to elaborate on
their capability estimates, and will rate
their confidence in the accuracy of the
information they report.

Step 1.1: Quantitatively Assess Capability
The purpose of Step 1.1 of the SPR is to identify how a community’s capabilities have changed
over the last year and how those changes affect the community’s current capability (see Figure
15). This step requires determining five quantitative data-points:

 Beginning Capability: How much capability did the community have at the start of the
year being assessed?

 Capability Lost: How much capability did the community lose over the course of the
year?

 Capability Sustained: How much of the capability that the community started the year
with still remains?

 Capability Built: How much capability did the community add during the year?
 Current Capability: How much capability does the community have now?

Figure 15: The output of Step 1 of the SPR is an assessment and description of current capability.

SPR Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

25

Accurately assessing capabilities, while important,
is challenging, and often situation-dependent. The
quantitative data entered in Step 1.1 of the SPR
process, while only an estimate, should be as
accurate as a community can reasonably achieve to
make the assessment results useful to the
community.

All capabilities are fundamentally dependent on
timeframe metrics. Asking a community “how
many people can you feed?” provides limited data unless paired with the questions “how
quickly?” and “for how long?” During Step 3 of the THIRA process, communities identify a
timeframe metric for each capability target. When communities assess their current capability in
the SPR, they base their assessment on the same timeframe metric that they identified in Step 3
of the THIRA (see Figure 16). For example, if a capability target says a community will perform
a capability in one week, the capability assessment will determine the extent to which they can
actually perform that capability in one week.

Benefits of Identifying Changes in
Capability

Capturing capabilities built, sustained,
and lost provides a more complete

preparedness picture by accounting for
the work communities are doing to

build capability, offset attrition and
maintain existing capabilities.

Figure 16: Communities use the timeframe metric(s) from their capability target in the capability assessment.

The data collected in Step 1 of the SPR forms the basis of the formulas used to calculate the
current capability. One approach is to start with the beginning capability, and subtract the
amount of capability lost over the last year to identify the capability sustained. Using that
capability sustained, communities can add in the capability built over the last year to identify
the current capability (see Figure 17).

Figure 17: Communities can use a formula to calculate their current capability.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 1

26

Beginning Capability

The beginning capability describes the level of capability the community had at the beginning of
the year they are assessing. This number will typically be the current capability from the prior
year’s SPR, if the community completes the SPR annually (see Figure 18).

Figure 18: The beginning capability is frequently, though not always, the current capability from the

previous year’s SPR.

The beginning capability may be different from the previous year’s current capability, however,
if the community receives new information about its current capability after the completion of
the last year’s SPR and prior to beginning the current year’s SPR. This could occur in several
ways, including performance in a real-world incident or exercise that provides the community
with a better understanding of their capability (see Figure 19). In such cases, communities will
use their new estimate of their beginning capability, and describe the reasons behind the change
in the SPR Step 1.3 free-text box.

Figure 19: The beginning capability can change from the previous year’s SPR current capability if a

community identifies more accurate information between SPRs.

Capability Lost

Unfortunately, capabilities that a community has built are sometimes lost, either through
attrition (retirements, expired training, etc.) or degradation (resources are used, equipment
breaks, etc.). Accurately tracking capabilities requires understanding how much capability is
lost. Tracking lost capabilities also helps to demonstrate the challenge that emergency managers
face in maintaining the existing capabilities needed to meet their capability targets.

SPR Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

27

In some cases, a capability may be completely lost, such as the dissolution of a public-private
partnership focused on infrastructure restoration. In many cases, however, a capability may only
partially degrade, such as a mitigation planning team losing personnel due to retirements. In the
SPR, communities will track current capabilities that can actually be used, and therefore a
capability should be considered lost if it was operational at the time of the last SPR submission
but is no longer operational at the time of the
current submission. If a community brings that
capability back on-line in the future, they should
consider it a capability built.

Capability Sustained

Capabilities that communities maintain from the
previous year are considered sustained.
Including capabilities sustained in the SPR
recognizes the necessary investments that
communities make to maintain the capabilities
they have previously built. If a capability was
operational at the time of the previous SPR submission and is still operational at the time of the
current submission, it is considered sustained, even if that capability was not operational during
portions of the preceding year.

Capability Built

Capabilities built are new capabilities that were not operational during the prior year. This can
occur for several reasons: 1) because the capability did not exist during the prior year; 2)
because the capability was under development during the prior year; and 3) because the
capability had partially degraded during the prior year and needed to be brought back on-line.
Table 4 depicts examples of Building Capability and common reasons why each might occur.

A capability is not operational until it is complete. For example, a fire company may be working
to become a Type III Search and Rescue team, and over the span of five years, they may add
personnel, equipment, and training. All of that work is important, but the capability is not
operational for the purposes of the SPR capability assessment until all required components are
complete. Communities can still capture the development of incomplete capabilities, however,
in SPR Step 1.2, in the free-text descriptions for the capability built over the past year.

Most communities will not build all capabilities every year due to funding, available time and
personnel, or other reasons. FEMA does not make any judgement on what is “normal” regarding
how often, and to what degree, capabilities should change. The methodology is designed to
accurately capture any positive, neutral, or negative changes in capability in a way that most
accurately reflects the unique experience of each community.

Reporting Changes in Capability

Reporting annual changes in capability by
those lost, sustained, and built—compared

to the previous 1-5 ratings—better
highlights small, but significant

improvements in capabilities. This allows
communities to account for the work they
are doing to offset attrition and maintain

existing capabilities, which helps prioritize
investments and inform strategic plans.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 1

28

Table 4: Examples of several ways that how communities might build capability.

Examples of How Communities Can Build Capability

Driver of Capability Building Examples

Capability did not exist in the prior
year

 First-time purchases of resources and materials
 Additional personnel hires
 New partnerships with community stakeholders that have

required capabilities

Capability was under development
during the prior year

 Training is underway, but it was incomplete at the time of
the prior SPR

 The community ordered new equipment, but had not yet
received it at the time of the prior SPR

Capability had partially degraded
during the prior year and was
brought back on-line

 Damaged equipment was repaired since the prior SPR
 A team that required a position filled has hired a new

employee for that position since the prior SPR
 Renewed expired training since the prior SPR

Current Capability

Current capability represents a community’s current operational capability. An operational
capability is one that can be used somewhere within the community. A capability does not need
to be immediately available for it to be operational (see Figure 20). A capability that is currently
deployed, for example, should be considered operational unless it will not be available for future
use until additional requirements are met. Single use and disposable capabilities that are
currently deployed should not be considered operational for the SPR.

Figure 20: An example of operational vs. non-operational capability.

SPR Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

29

Individual resources are often not capabilities by themselves. Capabilities typically require some
combination of planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercises. As such,
communities likely have many capabilities that are partially built, but not fully operational. For
example, if a community hires
people to make up a shelter
management team but cannot provide
them the required training and has no
plans addressing shelter
management, their capability is not
fully operational. These partial
capabilities should not be included in
a community’s current capability
because they are not operationally
ready; however, the partial
capabilities often represent a cost-
effective way to build new capabilities and close capability gaps.

Using Internal Capabilities

The capabilities assessed in SPR Step 1.1 should be
those that exist within the boundaries of the

community, whether owned by sub-jurisdictions, or
private and non-profit organizations. The capabilities

should not be from the Federal Government or
achieved through interstate mutual aid. The capability

targets are goals for building internal capability,
therefore communities complete the capability

assessment considering only internal capabilities.

Step 1.2: Describe Current Capabilities and Capability Changes
The purpose of Step 1.2 of the SPR is to elaborate on the quantitative assessment of the
capability change provided in Step 1.1 (see Figure 21). Communities identify the POETE
areas—planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercises (see Table 5)—in which they
lost, sustained, and built capability, and develop free-text descriptions explaining:

 What caused the reported level of capability lost over the last year?
 What actions did the community take to sustain the reported level of capability sustained

over the last year?
 What actions did the community take to achieve the reported capability built over the last

year?
 How might existing mutual aid agreements help bridge the gap between the capability

target and current capability?

Figure 21: A visual depiction of the relationship between SPR Steps 1.1 and 1.2.

While the quantitative assessment provides a valuable breakdown of how capability has changed
over the past year, it does not explain how or why those changes occurred. As such,
communities describe, in as much detail as possible, the specific actions, investments, resources,
or external factors that led to the changes in capability. Many of the explanations may relate to

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 1

30

funding availability and will be reflected in SPR Step 3. For example, communities might
explain that they built their capability by fully training all their shelter management teams and
purchasing an additional facility that the community can use as a fully accessible shelter.

Table 5: These are the definitions of the POETE areas: planning, organization, equipment, training, and
exercises.

POETE Areas

Planning
Development of policies, plans, procedures, mutual aid agreements, strategies, and
other publications; also involves the collection and analysis of intelligence and
information

Organization Individual teams, an overall organizational structure, and leadership at each level in the structure

Equipment Equipment, supplies, and systems that comply with relevant standards

Training Content and methods of delivery that comply with relevant training standards

Exercises
Exercises and actual incidents that provide an opportunity to demonstrate, evaluate,
and improve the ability of core capabilities to perform assigned missions and tasks
to standards

When referring to equipment, teams, and personnel throughout the assessment of capabilities,
communities consider pre-existing national resource type definitions, such as those outlined in
National Incident Management System (NIMS) resource typing.11 Including these resources
and terms allows communities to maintain consistent language over multiple assessment
periods. Providing as much detail as possible makes the SPR data more useful for planning,
prioritizing investments, and preparing for real-world incidents.

While the SPR does not quantitatively assess mutual aid, it is an important consideration for
planners. Mutual aid is an essential component of a successful response and recovery, as it
offsets capability gaps and is often the most efficient way to deliver certain capabilities,
resources, and services. As such, communities use a free-text box to describe how mutual aid
agreements may affect their current capability and should provide any additional context that
they deem necessary or useful. For example, they may provide additional information on the
nature and extent of their mutual aid agreements with other communities, such as what they
include, how long the agreement has been in place, or whether the mutual aid agreement has
been activated during a real-world incident. This information supplements the internal capability
assessment and planners can use it to identify sources of additional capability, or potential
overlap in mutual aid agreements among communities in the same region.

In addition to the free-text descriptions, communities identify the POETE area changes that
resulted in changes in capability over the past year. For capability lost, communities select the
POETE areas in which that capability was lost over the past year. For capability sustained and

11 For additional information on NIMS and resource typing please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-incident-
management-system.

SPR Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

31

capability built, communities note in which POETE areas they made investments that resulted in
either capability sustainment or growth.

Step 1.3: Provide Context on Current Capability Estimations
The purpose of Step 1.3 of the SPR is to provide additional context for the responses provided in
Step 1.1 and Step 1.2. Communities do this in three ways:

 Describe their level of confidence in the accuracy of their quantitative assessment
 Identify the sources used to determine their responses
 Provide any other useful context to better understand their quantitative responses

Describe Confidence in the Accuracy of the Quantitative Assessment
Communities may find that they can measure some capabilities more easily than others.
Moreover, even for those capabilities, the necessary data may be difficult to access or otherwise
be unavailable. Conversely, some communities
may be extremely proficient in understanding
and measuring their capability in certain areas
due to vast experience across many disasters. To
identify their level of confidence in the accuracy
of their capability assessment, Step 1.3 asks
communities to rate their confidence on a five-
point Likert scale:
 1 – Lower confidence
 2
 3
 4
 5 – Higher confidence

Benefits of Assessing Confidence in
Capability Assessments

Rating the level of confidence in each
capability assessment allows the Federal
Government to identify areas of relative
low or high confidence throughout the

Nation, which it can use to target technical
assistance efforts.

The data confidence ratings provide additional context on the reliability of the reported
capability assessments, which can be useful in both strategic and operational contexts. Federal
planners will have a stronger sense of which information is most credible and can better
understand how the data should be interpreted as they follow-up with communities. In addition,
it allows communities to be transparent about potential variance and, therefore, more accurate in
their reporting. See Table 6 for examples of why a community might report a given confidence
level on the scale.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 1

32

Table 6: Examples of how communities can approach their selection of a confidence level for their capability
assessment.

Confidence
Level Example Rationale for Chosen Confidence Level

Confidence
Level: 1

 Have not performed a large-scale sheltering mission in over 13 years, and have no
AARs to review

 No past exercises focusing on their sheltering capability; they have minimal subject-
matter expertise

 Capability estimate is based on that of similar surrounding states, but they have very
little confidence that it is accurate

Confidence
Level: 2

 Have not performed a large-scale sheltering mission in over 10 years, and only has
a high-level AAR to review

 No past statewide exercise of their sheltering capability; only two counties have
exercised their capability

 Data on potential locations for shelters is five years old
 They used the minimal available data to estimate a statewide capability to shelter

7,000 people, but they think it could be as high as 11,000 people or as low as 4,000
people

Confidence
Level: 3

 They performed a large-scale sheltering mission seven years ago, during which they
had a peak sheltering capacity of 9,500 people

 Several counties have conducted sheltering exercises in recent years showing an
increased capability

 Recently hired several SMEs have experience leading shelter management teams
in other states

 The list of potential locations for shelters was recently updated but they are not
confident about some options in rural communities

 They estimate that they can shelter a maximum of 11,800 people, but they believe it
could be as high as 14,000 or as low as 10,500

Confidence
Level: 4

 Reviewed their AAR from an incident four years ago, where they had a peak
sheltering capacity of 13,000 people

 Starting with 13,000 people as a baseline, SMEs met to discuss the changes since
the last incident

 The list of available locations for sheltering is less than two years old and includes a
wide variety of options

 Based on documented improvements and a recent regional sheltering tabletop
exercise, they estimate that they can shelter 15,000 people and are mostly confident
that their estimate is accurate within 750 people

Confidence
Level: 5

 They performed a large-scale sheltering mission two years ago where they had a
peak sheltering capacity of 14,200 people

 The list of available locations for sheltering is less than a year old and includes
recent additions of private-sector facilities with agreements to provide sheltering

 They participated in a regional sheltering and mass care exercise last year
(including private-sector partners and several large counties)

 Based on their capability in the recent incident, the validation provided by the
regional exercise, and the formal agreements with the private-sector, they are
confident that they can now shelter a maximum of 15,500 people

Identify the Sources of Information Used to Determine the Quantitative Responses
Communities identify the sources of information considered in assessing capabilities, including
real-world incidents, SMEs, exercises, plans, policies, modeling or tools, and other sources of

SPR Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

33

information. Identifying sources of information is extremely important for continuity of
assessments within a community. Citing sources helps to map out where the baseline for the
assessment originated for future SPRs, increasing consistency and reducing duplication of
effort.
Provide Context to Better Understand the Quantitative Current Capability Assessment
While the quantitative assessment provides valuable estimates of a community’s capability, it
cannot capture all the information needed to contextualize the quantitative assessment or expand
on it. In Step 1.3, communities provide that extra context. Communities are encouraged to
consider the following questions:

 How would your capability change if the timeframe metrics were increased or
decreased?

 Is there a range of capability numbers that accurately capture the upper and lower bounds
of your capability? If so, what made
you select the number that you did for
your estimated current capability?

 Are there specific known factors in
your community that would
significantly alter your estimated
current capability?

 What is the rationale behind your
selected level of confidence in your
data?

Uses for Additional Context

This content helps planners and other users of
the data fully understand a community’s

capabilities, including any caveats or special
factors that might be important to consider
when developing plans or responding to a

real-world incident. It is also useful for
assessment continuity within a community, as
new staff will understand the rationale behind

previous years’ capability estimates. For example, a community might report that
it can shelter 13,000 people within 48 hours
and maintain that capability for 14 days. Due to internal conditions, however, it is possible that
community would be able to shelter far more people if the duration of the sheltering was only
seven days. Including in the free-text description that the community can shelter 20,000 people
for seven days is important information that response planners can use to improve the accuracy
of their planning efforts. This information would otherwise not have been known through only
the quantitative assessment results.

Moreover, understanding why a community might have a relatively low confidence in their
capability assessment is also valuable information. The data necessary to validate the capability
may simply not be available or may not be possible to collect. This additional context enables
communities to more accurately interpret the reported data confidence ratings and as
appropriate, to target outreach, prioritize technical assistance efforts, and develop supporting
operational plans.

Communities may also be interested in assessing their level of capability for timeframe metrics
that they did not include in the capability target. This can also be useful for planning purposes,
to identify a community’s capability for various situations with differing requirements. For
example, a community may wish to know the number of customers they can return power to
within 24 hours, in addition to the capability target timeframe metric of three days.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 1

34

Step 2: Identify and Address Capability Gaps
In Step 2 of the SPR, communities describe the capability gap between the capability target they
set in THIRA Step 3 and the current capability determined in Step 1 of the SPR, and describe
how they plan to address those capability gaps (see Figure 22). There are two primary elements
in Step 2:

 Step 2.1: Communities identify and provide free-text descriptions of the capability gaps
in relevant POETE areas.

 Step 2.2: Communities describe how they plan to address their capability gaps and
sustainment needs in relevant POETE areas.

Figure 22: The output of Step 2 of the SPR is a description of capability gaps and approaches to address

capability gaps.

Step 2.1: Identify and Describe
Capability Gaps
The purpose of Step 2.1 of the SPR is to
identify and contextualize the capability
gap between a community’s capability
target and their estimated current
capability (see Figure 23). The
remaining questions in this step allow
communities to add context to that
capability gap and explain why the
capability gap exists. By understanding
capability gaps, communities can begin
to prioritize their building and
sustainment activities.

SPR Key Changes

▪ The new SPR methodology collects more
information on capability gaps than the previous
methodology, which only required communities
to select standard functional area gaps.

▪ Communities now report a numerical capability
gap (based on their capability target), identify
specific POETE areas that contain gaps, provide
free-text descriptions for each POETE area, and
describe their intended approaches to address
those capability gaps.

SPR Step 2 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

35

Figure 23: The calculation for identifying an example capability gap.

Priority for Achieving Capability Target

A community has a capability gap if the current capability is less than the capability target. After
identifying that capability gap, communities assign a priority rating (High Priority, Medium
Priority, and Low Priority) to identify how important it is to achieve that capability target.
Communities should attempt to assign priority ratings relative to their other targets and avoid
providing the same priority rating for all or most capability targets. This will result in more
useful data, as it will clearly demonstrate which capability gaps are more important to address.

Figure 24: Explanation for how to assign a priority rating for capabilities

with and without a capability gap.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 2

36

In rare cases, a community might not have a capability gap, or may even end up with greater
capability than the capability target they set in the THIRA. If their current capability matches or
exceeds their capability target, the community still reports a priority rating (see Figure 24) for the
capability. This will reflect the level of importance the community places on sustaining their
capability, relative to their other targets. For example, a community might have no capability gap
in their Mass Search and Rescue Operations capability target, but due to frequent severe
flooding, they prioritize the sustainment of that capability more than they prioritize building
capacity in other core capabilities that have capability gaps.

POETE Capability Gap Selection and Description

Once communities have prioritized their ability to achieve their capability targets, they provide
more context as to the shortfall(s) causing their capability gaps. For each capability target’s
capability gap, communities identify the POETE areas in which they have a shortfall. The
POETE model divides capabilities into meaningful, broad categories of activity and can help
communities think through their specific capability gaps. Communities that report a capability
gap—meaning their capability target is greater than current capability—report a shortfall in at
least one of the POETE areas for the core capability.

In the POETE areas with identified capability gaps, communities then provide a free-text
description of how shortfalls or other limitations in that POETE area contributed to their
capability gap (see Figure 25). In some cases, the shortfall might be a long-term issue, such as
the need to develop and implement training for 100 percent of the required workforce, while
other shortfalls may be more temporary occurrences, such as a facility undergoing renovations.
This process enables communities to provide actionable data about their capability gaps, and can
help communities plan to address key capability gaps.

Figure 25: Communities select POETE capability gaps and provide free-text descriptions.

SPR Step 2 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

37

Recognizing that community-specific factors will affect the level of detail available to report, the
amount of information and detail that communities provide in free-text descriptions will vary. It
is highly recommended, however, that communities provide all the key information that they
believe is necessary to fully understand the shortfalls leading to the capability gap. See Table 7
below for an example of how to identify capability gaps for an example Mass Care Services
capability target.

Table 7: An example capability gap identification for an example Mass Care Services capability target.

Example Capability Gap Identification

Capability Target
Within 48 hours of an incident, provide emergency sheltering for 20,000
residents, including 4,000 with access and functional needs. Maintain sheltering
operations for 14 days.

Current Capability
Within 48 hours of an incident, provide emergency sheltering for 17,000
residents including 3,000 with access and functional needs. Maintain sheltering
operations for 14 days.

Capability Gap
Within 48 hours of an incident, provide emergency sheltering for 3,000
residents including 1,000 with access and functional needs. Maintain sheltering
operations for 14 days.

POETE Area Free-Text Capability Gap Description

Planning

Our community has not identified buildings that could be used together to house
20,000 residents. Our housing annex has not been updated in many years and
does not include all communities within 1 hour of the affected area. Mutual aid
agreements that previously existed with private sector facility owners have
lapsed.

Organization
Our community does not have sufficient personnel to maintain six Type I Shelter
Management Teams. In addition, the recent restructuring of our Emergency
Management and Homeland Security divisions into one agency is very new and
has not yet operated during a major disaster.

Equipment
While many rural faith-based institutions are willing to open their doors to be
shelters, they lack sufficient bathing facilities. Most are also inaccessible to
shelter seekers with access and functional needs.

Training
18 new shelter management team members will need role appropriate training
(Type I and II Shelter Managers, Type I Shelter Registration Team Leaders, and
Type I Shelter Dormitory Team Leaders). Our community currently lacks the
funding and resources to provide this training.

Exercises

Our community has never conducted an exercise that would provide functional
experience operating a shelter; the only exercise involving sheltering was a brief
tabletop exercise in 2015 which only covered sheltering roles and
responsibilities. Further, the private sector and faith-based institutions that are
committed to supporting sheltering operations in our community have never
been involved in any exercises involving sheltering.

In most cases, the standardized target language will not address the full scope of each core
capability. Communities therefore also identify any POETE are gaps related to each capability
that the standardized target language does not address. For these gaps, communities do not

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 2

38

include free-text descriptions elaborating on the cause of the capability gaps. Identifying
capability gaps across all aspects of the core capabilities can help communities to develop
strategic plans and prioritize investments for building and sustaining capabilities.
Step 2.2: Describe Approaches to Address Gaps and Sustainment Needs
Once communities have identified their capability gaps, they identify their intended approaches
for addressing the capability gaps or sustainment needs. This information will help communities
use SPR results to drive their strategic planning and investment strategies. Communities identify
approaches for sustainment or filling the capability gap(s) in the relevant POETE area and then
add specific information, including:
 Over what timeframe does this intended approach cover?
 What activities or investments will need to occur to address the existing capability gap or

support sustainment?
 What partners may support the efforts?

Due to a variety of factors, including funding, available resources, and personnel, communities
cannot always plan to address all capability gaps in any given year. Therefore, communities may
not always have an intended approach for addressing every single POETE area gap they
identified and described in Step 2.1. Additionally, communities can report plans to address
sustainment needs, even if they did not select the POETE area in Step 2.1. See Table 8 below for
example plans to address capability gaps and sustain the existing capability for the example
Mass Care Services capability target shown above in Table 7.

Table 8: Example approaches to addressing capability gaps and sustainment needs for an example Mass Care
Services capability target.

Example Approaches for Addressing Capability Gaps and Sustainment Needs

POETE Area Free-Text Approaches to Address Capability Gaps and Sustainment Needs

Planning
Engage stakeholders and internal partners to conduct a full review and update of
the housing annex to our State Response Plan. Also, assess the current list of
facilities available to use as shelters to identify requirements for additional
facilities.

Organization Identify 18 employees willing to serve on a shelter management team as part of our surge capacity force.

Equipment Our community does not currently intend to address the equipment gap in the next year, due to competing priorities.

Training
Provide appropriate training for four Type I and three Type II Shelter Managers,
six Type I Shelter Registration Team Leaders, and five Type I Shelter Dormitory
Team Leaders.

Exercises Include a housing component in our full-scale hurricane response exercise in March.

SPR Step 3 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

39

Once a community has described their intended approaches to building or sustaining their
capability, they indicate the general timeframe during which they plan to do so. For example,
some communities might want to plan for a single grant cycle, while others might have more
general, long-term plans to address their capability gaps and sustainment needs. It is important
to note that describing an approach in this section does not create an obligation to complete the
activity within the identified timeframe. Communities should view it as a resource they can use
internally to drive their strategic planning and investment strategies.

Step 3: Describe Impacts of Funding Sources
The purpose of Step 3 of the SPR is to indicate the extent to which relevant funding sources—
including but not limited to a community’s own resources and Federal and state grants—played
a role in building and sustaining the capabilities assessed by the capability targets (see Figure
26). There are two primary elements in Step 3 of the SPR:

 Step 3.1: Assess the degree to which specific funding sources had a role in building and
sustaining the capability assessed by the target.

 Step 3.2: Qualitatively assess how your community used capabilities built and sustained
with funding in a real-world incident over the past year.

Figure 26: The output of Step 3 of the SPR is an assessment and description of the impact of funding sources

on capabilities.

This information can help communities better understand the impact that their funding has on
building and sustaining capabilities and to relay that information to key stakeholders and
decision-makers.

Step 3.1: Assess the Role of Funding for Building and Sustaining Capabilities
The purpose of Step 3.1 is to estimate the degree to which various funding sources, including
but not limited to communities’ own resources and Federal and state grants, impacted the
building and sustainment of the capabilities assessed by the capability targets.

When answering these questions, communities consider the relevant POETE area activities or
resources (including assets with national resource-typed definitions as outlined in NIMS) that
they supported with each funding source. Communities should try to estimate, with reasonable
accuracy, which efforts and investments relevant to each capability target they funded with each

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition SPR Step 3

40

source. Then, among those efforts and investments, communities identify whether they were
used primarily to sustain an existing capability, to build new capability, or both.

A coordinated approach to track investments using different funding sources can help drive
investments to be increasingly effective. This enhances communities’ ability to understand the
return on investment of their funding sources.
Identifying the sources of funding for
specific, quantitative changes in capability
can guide communities’ strategic planning
considerations and help them make resource
allocation decisions to build and sustain
capabilities as effectively as possible.

Revealing the Entire Picture of Funding
Contribution

Identifying the degree to which different
funding sources supported sustainment

activities enables communities to identify the
impact of their funding, even in those instances

where there is no change in capability.
This reveals the entire picture by reflecting the
reality that emergency managers are constantly
working and making investments to maintain

what they have achieved, and are not just
building new capabilities.

Step 3.2: Assess the Role of Funding
in Real-World Incidents
Finally, communities describe the impact that
capabilities built or sustained with different
funding sources had in real-world incidents
over the past year. This is intended to capture
how they used previous years’ investments since the last assessment. While this question is
concerned with capabilities used over the past year, the funding can be from any year in the past.
Communities attempt to answer the following questions:
 Was the capability used to address a real-world incident? If so, how?
 What would have been the impact on the community’s ability to deliver the capability

had it not received funding?
 What impact would that change in capability have had on survivors, infrastructure, or the

response and recovery mission overall?

Answering these questions enables communities to report positive examples of how they used
specific funding sources to increase or sustain preparedness capabilities and make a difference
during response to real-world incidents. Communities will also be able to describe how
sustainment of their capabilities would be negatively impacted by reduced funding—whether it
is the community’s own capital, state or Federal grants, or another source—despite reporting no
capability built by that funding. This can help communities think strategically about how to
spend their money and consider whether they are doing so efficiently.

Conclusion CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

41

Conclusion
Understanding the risks faced by communities, and the Nation as a whole, is essential to
sustaining and building national preparedness. This document provides a common and
consistent approach for communities to support the first two components of the National
Preparedness System: 1) Identifying and Assessing Risk; and 2) Estimating Capability
Requirements, as implemented through the THIRA/SPR. It provides a foundation for all levels
of government to complete the National Preparedness System by generating actionable data to
drive investment strategies through identified planning efforts, organizational and equipment
investments, and training and exercise initiatives.
The THIRA/SPR provides a national risk and capability picture from the perspective of the
states, territories, urban areas, and tribes. This contributes to achieving the National
Preparedness Goal of “a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required to prevent,
protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the
greatest risk.” Achieving the Goal requires participation at all levels of the community. Through
the THIRA/SPR process, communities are better able to educate individuals, families,
businesses, organizations, community leaders, and senior officials about the risks they face and
their roles in and contributions to prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery
efforts.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Glossary

42

Glossary of Terms

Beginning Capability: The level of capability the community had at the beginning of the year
they are assessing.

Capability Assessment: The process of identifying how a community’s capabilities have
changed over the last year and how those changes affect the community’s current capability.

Capability Built: New capabilities that were not operational during the prior year.

Capability Gap: The difference between the capability target a community sets in THIRA Step
3 and the current capability they determine in SPR Step 1.

Capability Lost: Capabilities that a community had as of the previous year’s SPR that they no
longer have during as of the current year’s SPR, due to attrition or degradation.

Capability Sustained: Capabilities that communities have maintained from the previous year.

Capability Target: The level of capability that a community plans to achieve over time in order
to manage the threats and hazards it faces.

Context Description: The details about a threat or hazard scenario needed to identify the
impacts it will have on a community that includes critical details such as the location, magnitude,
and time of an incident.

Core Capabilities: The distinct critical elements necessary to achieve the National Preparedness
Goal.

Critical Task: Defined actions that are executed by organizations to deliver the core
capabilities.

Cross-Cutting Core Capabilities: The three core capabilities—Planning, Public Information
and Warning, and Operational Coordination—that span all five mission areas. They serve to
unify the mission areas and, in many ways, are necessary for the success of the remaining core
capabilities.

Current Capability: Represents a community’s current operational capability that can be used
somewhere within the community.

Functional Areas: The broad categories of activity included under a core capability.

Human-Caused Hazard: A potential incident resulting from the intentional actions of an
adversary.

Impact: The community-specific effects a threat or hazard scenario would have on a community
if the threat or hazard occurred, written in the language of common emergency management
metrics.

Glossary CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

43

Internal Capabilities: Capabilities that exist within the boundaries of a community, whether
owned by sub-jurisdictions, or private and non-profit organizations. The capabilities should not
be from the Federal Government or achieved through interstate mutual aid.

Likelihood: The chance of something happening, whether defined, measured, or estimated
objectively or subjectively, or in terms of general descriptors (e.g., rare, unlikely, likely, almost
certain), frequencies, or probabilities.

Maximum Requirement: The highest level of potential capability requirement reflecting the
impacts of the threat or hazard that most challenges the critical task described in the capability
target.

Mission Areas: Categories used to organize the core capabilities and national preparedness
activities: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

Mitigation Core Capabilities: Reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of
future disasters.

Mutual Aid: Agreements that establish the terms under which one party provides resources—
personnel, teams, facilities, equipment, and supplies—to another party.

National Preparedness Goal: Defines what it means for the whole community to be prepared
for all types of disasters and emergencies. The goal itself is: ‘A secure and resilient Nation with
the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate,
respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.’

National Preparedness System: Outlines an organized process for everyone in the whole
community to move forward with their preparedness activities and achieve the National
Preparedness Goal.

Natural Hazard: A potential incident resulting from acts of nature.

POETE Areas: A model that divides capabilities into meaningful, broad categories of
activity—planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercises.

Prevention Core Capabilities: Prevent, avoid, or stop an imminent, threatened, or actual act of
terrorism.

Protection Core Capabilities: Protect our citizens, residents, visitors, and assets against the
greatest threats and hazards in a manner that allows our interests, aspirations, and way of life to
thrive.

Recovery Core Capabilities: Recover through a focus on the timely restoration, strengthening,
and revitalization of infrastructure, housing, and a sustainable economy, as well as the health,
social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of communities affected by an incident.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Glossary

44

Response Core Capabilities: Respond quickly to save lives; protect property and the
environment; and meet basic human needs in the aftermath of an incident.

Risk: The potential for an unwanted outcome resulting from an incident or occurrence, as
determined by its likelihood and the associated consequences.

Standardized Target Language: Common, uniform emergency management metrics with
blanks for community-specific numbers that are required for all communities to complete; for
example: (#) people requiring sheltering.

Technological Hazard: A potential incident resulting from accidents or failures of systems or
structures.

Timeframe Metrics: The amount of time or level of effort needed to successfully deliver core
capabilities and/or sustain the delivery of the core capabilities.

  • Preface
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
    • The National Preparedness Goal
    • The National Preparedness System
    • Using the THIRA/SPR Strategically
    • Community-Wide Involvement
  • The THIRA Process
    • Introduction to the Three Steps of the THIRA
    • Step 1: Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern
    • Step 2: Give the Threats and Hazards Context
      • Step 2.1: Context Descriptions
      • Step 2.2: Estimate Impacts
    • Step 3: Establish Capability Targets
  • The SPR Process
    • Step 1: Assess Capabilities
      • Step 1.1: Quantitatively Assess Capability
      • Step 1.2: Describe Current Capabilities and Capability Changes
      • Step 1.3: Provide Context on Current Capability Estimations
    • Step 2: Identify and Address Capability Gaps
      • Step 2.1: Identify and Describe Capability Gaps
      • Step 2.2: Describe Approaches to Address Gaps and Sustainment Needs
    • Step 3: Describe Impacts of Funding Sources
      • Step 3.1: Assess the Role of Funding for Building and Sustaining Capabilities
      • Step 3.2: Assess the Role of Funding in Real-World Incidents
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary of Terms
Writerbay.net

Do you need academic writing help? Our quality writers are here 24/7, every day of the year, ready to support you! Instantly chat with a customer support representative in the chat on the bottom right corner, send us a WhatsApp message or click either of the buttons below to submit your paper instructions to the writing team.


Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper
Writerbay.net