Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8
National preparedness efforts, including planning, are now informed by Presidential
Policy Directive (PPD)-8, which was signed by the president in March 2011 and describes
the nation’s approach to preparedness. This directive represents an evolution in
our collective understanding of national preparedness, based on the lessons learned
from terrorist attacks, hurricanes, school and IHE incidents, and other experiences.
PPD-8 defines preparedness around five mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation,
Response, and Recovery.
The capabilities necessary to avoid, deter, or stop an imminent
crime or threatened or actual mass casualty incident. Prevention is the action IHEs
take to prevent a threatened or actual incident from occurring.
The capabilities to secure IHEs against acts of terrorism
and man-made or natural disasters. Protection focuses on ongoing actions that protect
students, teachers, staff, visitors, networks, and property from a threat or hazard.
The capabilities necessary to eliminate or reduce the loss
of life and property damage by lessening the impact of an event or emergency. In
this document, mitigation also means reducing the likelihood that threats and hazards
The capabilities necessary to stabilize an emergency once
it has already happened or is certain to happen in an unpreventable way; establish
a safe and secure environment; save lives and property; and facilitate the transition
The capabilities necessary to assist IHEs affected by an event
or emergency in restoring the learning environment.
These mission areas generally align with the three timeframes associated with an
incident: before, during, and after.
The majority of Prevention, Protection, and Mitigation activities generally occur
before an incident, although these three mission areas do have ongoing activities
that can occur throughout an incident. Response activities occur during an incident,
and Recovery activities can begin during an incident and occur after an incident.
To help avoid confusion over terms and allow for ease of reference, herein these
are referred to as “before”, “during”, and “after.”