Submitting Campus



Security and Emergency Services

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



This essay offers an intermediate discussion of select policy, strategic, operational, and tactical issues that demonstrate where and how the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s novel coronavirus response on the one hand, and homeland security frameworks and research on the other, converge or—more often so—diverge, and how to narrow this gap. Although typically framed as a pandemic owned by the public health sector, the COVID-19 response falls directly within the homeland security mission space, whose core missions include “Ensuring Resilience to Disasters.” In some respects, Pennsylvania’s response exemplifies best practices suggested by research. In other dimensions, it is neither in line with what research would recommend nor with what the National Preparedness System would mandate. The Keystone State has yet to fully make the step from disaster to catastrophe as the characteristic challenge to U.S. emergency management in our century. Response to catastrophic crisis cannot be siloed; it requires adaptivity and an inclusive approach to the community.

Publication Title

Homeland Security Affairs Journal


Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Additional Information

Dr. Siedschlag was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.