Naval War College Review


Unlike most other federal agencies, the Coast Guard is a true first-response organization, with statutory authority and responsibilities that allow re- sponses following a disaster without waiting for a Stafford Act declaration of state request for assistance. This ability and expectation have been lauded in the public press critiques of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. As an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, the lead federal department for responses to terrorism and natural disasters, the Coast Guard must maintain capabilities to respond to terror- ism and all-hazard incidents in the maritime and coastal regions.