Policy memo | Political Science homework help


Policy Memo Assignment

Directions: Select ONE of the following scenarios for your memo.

Write a One-Page Memo answering the questions. Be concise.

Format: Times New Roman, 12 pt font Single Spaced, via CANVAS.

Submit this assignment via CANVAS no later than 11:59 PM on Friday, February 22, 2019. Contact the instructor if there are conflicts meeting this requirement (e.g. excused absence). 

Scenario One:  The Big One. Haiti in the Midwest.

You are the Emergency Management Director for the State of Indiana.  You serve on a planning commission to prepare for catastrophic events in the Midwest.  The commission is comprised of leaders from the public and private sector with little knowledge of how emergency management can help plan for disasters.

A catastrophic earthquake, like the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti, could happen right here in the Midwest. 

The New Madrid Seismic Zone runs along the Mississippi River through eight Midwestern and southern states. A complete rupture of the fault zone could, by FEMA’s estimate, cause $300bn in direct economic loss (2010 figures), 715,000 damaged buildings, 2.6 million homes without power, 86,000 casualties immediate and possibly 4,000 fatalities, depending on the time of day.

These figures do not take into account that economically depressed areas do not have adequate day-to-day health and social services, shelter and food for many of their citizens. In addition, the average town in America has about three days’ worth of food and supplies in their grocery stores to support a community.


The commission has asked you to give them a one-page memo on what three first steps the region should first take to prepare for “The Big One”—a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in the Midwest.

Based on your readings on Emergency Management, its history, Emergency Management Principles and the Case Study on Haiti,  prepare a one-page memo. 

Scenario Two: The Case for HS in EM (or EM in HS, or HSEM)

It has been 13 years since Hurricane Katrina, and the implementation of changes to homeland security and emergency management in the State of Indiana. Prior to 2006, the State of Indiana had a “Department of Homeland Security” that reported to the governor and focused on counter-terrorism, and a separate “Department of Emergency Management” that conducted work on all of the remaining hazards. In 2006, Governor Daniels combined the two agencies into an “Indiana Department of Homeland Security,” (IDHS) which while called a “DHS,” focuses on Emergency Management activities for the state as well. This was done to mirror the construction of the US Department of Homeland Security. IDHS is the current naming convention of the state-level agency that conducts Emergency Management and Homeland Security work in the state.

It is 2020, and a new governor has been elected in Indiana. Governor Archie Miller didn’t campaign on homeland security and emergency management issues, but is interested in re-thinking the title of the IDHS to reflect the actual threats to the state. He believes that since the most likely threats are natural disasters, that the agency should have strong messages to the public about what it really does. However, he doesn’t want just another name change–he needs justification for what a state department of homeland security and/or emergency management does for the people of Indiana, and why a re-organization may make sense.

ACTION: You are the new governor’s homeland security advisor and current executive director of the IDHS. In a one page memo, provide a recommendation to the governor for changing the name of the state agency, with no more than three reasons/approaches/challenges for changing the name and mission of the organization to reflect the most likely risks to the state.

Scenario 3: Posse Comitatus

You are the Adjutant General for the State of Indiana, the principle military official over the state’s national guard. You report to the governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb.

As a result of the Indiana Hoosiers losing to Kentucky in the NCAA Mens’ Basketball Championship (an extremely unlikely scenario), a massive riot is occurring on Kirkwood Avenue in Downtown Bloomington. Aerial images show that nearly 30,000 people are in a crowd stretching from the Sample Gates to the Courthouse. It is hard to discern how many people are actively destroying property or how many are just observing from the line outside of Kilroy’s and Nick’s among other watering holes.

While local police have had some success in breaking up pockets of the protests, the local and state police have been overwhelmed by the violence and riot conditions. In addition, it appears that mobs of Kentucky fans have traveled up from Lexington to incite further violence and mayhem.

Governor Holcomb is considering deploying military resources to help quell the riot. Having some experience in the military, he asks you, the Indiana Adjutant General, to “round up everything we’ve got, National Guard. Should I call the President to get divisions at Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center (US Navy), and Camp Atterbury (US Army) nearby? Just do whatever. Send them all in. Just get the job done.”


In a one-page memo, outline for Governor Holcomb the resources he has available from the military to respond to a domestic civil response in Bloomington. Explain any limitations and the duty status of the National Guard for deploying those resources. Explain whether US DOD forces are necessary or able to provide the support he wants to request.

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