What About THIRA?
TACCS™ is the only software platform that performs dynamic consequence analysis
and projects the time to restore critical community infrastructure and services.
Officials in both the public and private sectors serve their communities in part by managing and administering community resources to prevent, protect against, and mitigate the effects of threats and hazards. Although some of those threats and hazards have always been present, current trends have given rise to threats and hazards that were unthinkable as few as twenty years ago. Not only have changing climate patterns increased the hazards posed by natural phenomena, but technology has now made it much easier for disaffected individuals and small groups to do great damage to society. At the same time, communities have become more demanding of their leaders, requiring that more and better measures be employed to protect their citizens.
As a consequence of those modern realities, public officials are hard-pressed to determine how to apply limited financial resources to insure that adverse events impose the least amount of harm on their communities. Although it is theoretically possible to obtain the predictions of numerous experts regarding the damage those threats and hazards might cause, and all the steps that should be taken to prevent, protect against, mitigate their effects, it is impossible, for all practical purposes, to do so without the help of technology. What is needed is a means to realistic comparison of the outcomes obtained from following one course of action against the outcomes of others across all possible adverse events, and only TACCS™ can accomplish that.
In order to compare alternative courses of action, the community should identify the core capabilities it will need to best protect its citizens and maintain the community’s infrastructure and activities (i.e., economic recovery, health and social services, housing, infrastructure systems). With that structure, TACCS™ can then be used to establish a baseline profile that projects how each threat and hazard impacts these core capabilities, taking into account:
- the primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts on people and property,
- the effectiveness of response and recovery resources in restoring essential services, including,
- the relative priority of the core capabilities,
- how to best deploy response and recovery resources in preparation for a possible adverse event, and
- the order in which response and recovery operations should be conducted to best recover the core capabilities.
Once the baseline is established, community leaders should establish a goal or desired outcome for each core capability. To be of practical use to the community, these goals need to be expressed in concrete terms. Goals and outcomes are only effective if they are fact-based and realistic (e.g., maintain at least 250 hospital beds, and recover 250 more within 24 hours). In comparing the effectiveness of alternative courses of action, TACCS™ projects progress towards the core capability goals by taking into account:
- the impact of actions that might be taken to protect against or mitigate the effects of different threats and hazards, i.e.,
- adding new assets (e.g., screening and search, supply chain improvements, vulnerability reduction) to enhance the community’s core capabilities, or
- changing the extent to which existing community infrastructure or other resources might be adversely affected by threats and hazards by eliminating or reducing vulnerabilities (e.g., enhanced cyber security, physical protective measures); and
- the consequences of changing the number or location of existing response and recovery resources.
By conducting the comparison of alternative courses of action in such a manner, community leaders will be able to
- demonstrate the effects of threats and hazards on the community if no additional action were taken;
- develop the priorities and desired outcomes to be used in determining how to compare one possible course of action against others;
- demonstrate the practical alternative courses of action that might be taken, and the effects of those alternatives on the goals established by the community; and
- ultimately help the community to decide on the steps it should take.
Using TACCS™ to perform these comparisons enables the community and its leaders to identify risks posed by threats and hazards and the choices that are available to respond to those risks. In addition to enabling the community to make an informed judgment, TACCS™ enables the leadership to comprehensively respond to the THIRA requirements now incorporated in the DHS Preparedness Grant process.