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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness

Presidential Policy Directive / PPD-8: National Preparedness focuses on strengthening the security and resilience of the Nation through systematic preparation for the full range of 21st century hazards that threaten the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. The Secretary of Homeland Security has been directed to lead this effort in consultation with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nongovernmental organizations, private sector partners, and the general public.

National preparedness is a shared responsibility of government at all levels, the private and non-profit sectors, and individual citizens.  All can contribute to safeguard the Nation from harm. While the Directive is intended to galvanize action by the Federal Government, it is also aimed at facilitating an integrated, all-of-nation, flexible, capabilities-based approach to preparedness.  The PPD requires the development of the following deliverables: 

  • a national preparedness goal;
  • a national preparedness system;
  • a national planning system featuring an integrated set of national planning frameworks for all five mission areas along with interagency operations plans and guidance for State, local, tribal and territorial governments; a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness; and
  • a national preparedness report. 

The National Preparedness Goal

The Directive calls for development and maintenance of a National Preparedness Goal defining the core capabilities necessary to prepare for the specific types of incidents posing the greatest risk to the security of the Nation. The Goa

l establishes concrete, measurable, prioritized objectives to mitigate specific threats and vulnerabilities – including regional variations of risk – and emphasize actions intended to achieve an integrated, layered, accessible and all-of-Nation/whole community preparedness approach while optimizing the use of available resources.

National Preparedness System

The National Preparedness System Description identifies six components to improve national preparedness for a wide range of threats and hazards, such as acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics and catastrophic natural disasters.  The System description explains how as a nation we will build on current efforts, many of which are already established in the law and have been in use for many years.


  • This page last reviewed: October 03, 2016