Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 26

»

PORTS + POLITICS

Lessons from the Past:
A Renewed Commentary
on Port Security

S

By U.S. Representative Albio Sires (NJ-08)

afety at our country's ports is not
only essential to our economy
but critical to our national security. Each day ships arrive at our
shores carrying cargo from every corner of
the globe, and it is essential that each ship and
each container that enters the United States
is safe. Today, port security is of paramount
importance as ports continue to face growing cyber, nuclear, radiological and chemical threats, and the occurrence of natural
disasters continues to rise. Just as we have
increased scrutiny at our land borders and
our airports, it is vital that we are vigilant in
protecting our ports. Security measures are
much different than 20 years ago, and as we
experience and deal with new threats, we
must take the lessons learned and build on
that framework.
I proudly served as mayor of West New
York, N.J., from 1995 to 2006. West New
York is one of the most densely populated
towns in the country and sits atop the New
Jersey Palisades across from Manhattan. It
also neighbors the Port of New York and New
Jersey; the nation's third-largest port. Serving
as mayor was one of my proudest experiences, but the attacks of September 11th presented an unprecedented test to the region.
At this time, the Department of Homeland
Security did not exist, and terrorism was not

a household term. Preparing for an attack of
such magnitude was foreign because we had
never experienced one.
As mayor, I was tasked with overseeing
the local response. As fire engines blared and
chaos ensued, it was clear that we were not
prepared. One of the most obvious absences
was a coordinated response plan. Multiple fire
and police departments performed redundant searches for civilians, wasting precious
time and resources. Many of the Emergency
Service Units and police personnel used
incompatible radio communications so that
warnings were not transmitted. Several first
responders experienced technical difficulties with malfunctioning radios and, as such,
evacuation orders went unheard.
After the attacks, committees were
formed, contingency plans were put in place,
and the Homeland Security Act of 2002
was enacted. Security became a national
priority and the Department of Homeland
Security was tasked with coordinating a comprehensive national strategy to prepare the
country for a similar attack. Lessons were
learned, and a strategy was put in place,
but Hurricane Katrina proved that natural
disasters required preparation as well.
In 2006, Congress enacted legislation designating the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) as the disaster

SCOT E. SHELDON Partner
HEATHER L. BLACKWELL Partner
Proudly serving as General Counsel to The Port of Port Arthur Navigation District of
Jefferson County, Texas for more than 25 years.
905 Orleans Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701-2916
Phone: (409) 835-3891 | Fax: (409) 835-2707
ssheldon@moorelandrey.com | hblackwell@moorelandrey.com

26 AAPA
846664_Moore.indd
1

SEAPORTS MAGAZINE

12/21/16 6:45 PM

response lead. FEMA created a set of policies
known as the National Preparedness System
to guide preparedness against all hazards,
whether they are terrorist attacks, natural
disasters or other man-made incidents.
The New York and New Jersey region's
resiliency was tested again in 2012, when
Superstorm Sandy hit. I was serving as the
congressman of New Jersey's 8th District,
home to the majority of the Port of New York
and New Jersey. The National Hurricane
Center reported water reached 2-9 feet
above groundwater in parts of New Jersey
containing port infrastructure. The response
to the storm was more coordinated than previous responses, but unforeseen challenges
presented themselves. Federal partners
enhanced state and local resources through
recognized response and recovery support,
but the magnitude of the storm made it difficult to maintain unity in response efforts.
Power outages and fuel shortages left people
in the dark, created the risk of theft and left
infrastructure vulnerable.
These attacks and disasters must teach us
how to improve the way in which we respond
and help us identify vulnerabilities in our
infrastructure. Today, FEMA administers 11
preparedness grants to state and local governments to support the National Preparedness
System, strengthen resiliency and better prepare for a terrorist attack or natural disaster.
The Port Security Grant Program is an important tool to safeguard our ports from both
physical and cyber threats. Funding may be
used for things like security cameras, cyber
security operations and bomb detection infrastructure. Grant programs like this are vital
to ensuring that our nation can continue to
improve its preparedness. Congress must continue to fund FEMA's preparedness grants to
ensure that we continue to do better when the
next threat presents itself. Preparing for the
known is easy, but preparing for the unknown
is what we must do. ●


http://moorelandrey.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Stakeholders: A Seaport’s Secret Resource
Why Ports Need Allies: Maintaining a Working Waterfront Takes a Network of Supporters
The Next Generation of Leaders — Succession Planning Provides Security, Guidance for Future
Port Security — An Exercise in Partnerships
Lessons From the Past: A Renewed Commentary on Port Security
Cyber Security: What Port Authorities Need to Know
Tomorrow’s Leaders Need More Than On-the-Job Training
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Intro
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - bellyband1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - bellyband2
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover2
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 3
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 4
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 5
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - From the President’s Desk
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Stakeholders: A Seaport’s Secret Resource
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 11
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 12
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Why Ports Need Allies: Maintaining a Working Waterfront Takes a Network of Supporters
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 15
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 16
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 17
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - The Next Generation of Leaders — Succession Planning Provides Security, Guidance for Future
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 19
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 20
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 21
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Port Security — An Exercise in Partnerships
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 23
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 24
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 25
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Lessons From the Past: A Renewed Commentary on Port Security
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 27
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Cyber Security: What Port Authorities Need to Know
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 29
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 30
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 31
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Tomorrow’s Leaders Need More Than On-the-Job Training
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 33
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover3
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - cover4
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - divider1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - divider2
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 41
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 42
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 44
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 45
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - 46
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - outsert1
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2017 - outsert2
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0415
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0414
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0314
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0413
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0313
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAPQ/AAPQ0113
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com