Homeland Security and Emergency Management

CNA works with federal, state, and local government agencies to address complex challenges in homeland security and emergency management. We focus on improving preparedness for disasters and emergencies, increasing efficiency in operations, deciding on the best course of action in policy, and assessing performance. We apply a multidisciplinary, data-driven approach to our work, and we tailor solutions to meet the needs of each client.

CNA experts in homeland security and emergency management assess current capabilities relative to desired end-states; develop strategies to build and improve capabilities over time; facilitate strategic, tactical, and operational planning efforts; improve operations through analyses of exercises and real-world response operations; evaluate alternative policies and strategies; and develop approaches to measure and monitor program and operational performance.

Our work

CNA has supported or evaluated nearly every major homeland security event and disaster since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Our analysts are experienced in operations across the homeland security enterprise through CNA’s work for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal, state, and local agencies.

Our analysts deploy to the site to provide real-time analytic support and collect data for future analysis. For example, during the response to Hurricane Katrina, CNA provided analytic support to a federal headquarters operations center and also deployed with federal responders to document and support these operations. For other events, we have reconstructed and analyzed operations after the event to identify lessons learned and improvement areas. For example, for the District of Columbia, we have analyzed are variety of real-world operations, including the 2016 blizzard, the 2015 smoke incident in the Metro, and the 2013 active shooter at the Washington Navy Yard.

The real world operational experience informs all of the work we do, including developing policies and strategies to improve capabilities, developing and testing emergency plans, and assessing performance over time.


Incident Reconstruction and Analysis

Real-world incidents provide a comprehensive opportunity to assess and validate capabilities without the constraints, such as cost and staff availability, associated with exercises. CNA’s approach to analyzing real-world incidents provides government leaders with the knowledge necessary to make future responses more effective. Learn more.

Tailored Capability Assessment

Since 9/11, federal, state, and local agencies have made significant efforts in preparedness. As agencies continue to invest in building capabilities, it becomes increasingly important to be able to assess where capabilities have been achieved and maintained, and where gaps still exist. CNA’s approach to assessing capabilities provides government leaders with information and tools to articulate capability gains, monitor capability levels, and make sound resource decisions to maintain and further build capabilities. Learn more.

Hybrid Exercise Design

Exercises—tabletops, drills, functional exercises, and full-scale exercises—can help agencies and jurisdictions to validate capabilities, identify improvements, train staff, and improve overall preparedness for natural disasters, emergency inci­dents, and terrorist events. Tabletops are the most common exercise because they are cost effective, but they can become rote, limiting the value to participants. Drawing on CNA’s expertise in gaming, we have developed an innovative hybrid exercise design that engages participants and produces high-quality and actionable insights. Learn more.

Our team

Our staff includes experts in homeland security and emergency management, and analysts with diverse academic backgrounds, including science, engineering, mathematics, and policy. Together, they blend objective, scientific methods with an expert, firsthand understanding of the operators and decision-makers we support to yield actionable results for our clients.

Thought Leadership

CNA Talks Podcast: Episode 9

As Houston begins to recover after Hurricane Harvey, Monica Giovachino, Jason McNamara, and Dawn Thomas discuss what comes next. Listen now.

CNA Talks Podcast: Episode 7

Tune in to hear CNA's Tim Beres, David Kaufman, Monica Giovachino, and Jason McNamara discuss CNA Safety and Security's work on homeland security, domestic preparedness, and emergency management over the last two decades. Listen now.