Homeland Security Division

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​Homeland Security is the coordinated effort to ensure we are prepared to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from threats and acts of terrorism, plus other man-made or natural disasters or catastrophes.  It requires a risk management process in order to ensure California has the right capabilities in place to manage those hazards that pose the greatest risk to the State, its people, and its critical infrastructure and key resources.

Photo courtesy of Emergency Management Magazine picture of Director Ghilarducci Director Mark Ghilarducci - Photo Courtesy of Emergency Management Magazine photographer Jessica Mulholland 

​Cal OES Director as Homeland Security Advisor

As a member of the Cabinet, Director Ghilarducci serves a the Governor's Homeland Security Advisor (HSA) and oversees statewide public safety, emergency management, emergency communications, counter-terrorism efforts, and the State Threat Assessment System (STAS).

His duties include serving as chair of numerous boards and committees and he sits on several state and national commissions and work groups.

​2017-2020 California Homeland Security Strategy Executive Summary

The purpose of the 2017-2020 California Homeland Security Strategy (herein referred to as Strategy) is threefold; (1) to set forth the state’s homeland security priorities, (2) establish performance metrics to measure implementation of the Strategy, and (3) to align and integrate these priorities with statewide funding and evaluation mechanisms. This Strategy outlines measurable actions to enhance capabilities that will guide the state’s efforts to achieve the following goals:

  1. Enhance Information Collection, Analysis, and Sharing, in Support of Public Safety Operations Across California
  2. Protect Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources From All Threats and Hazards
  3. Strengthen Security and Preparedness Across Cyberspace
  4. Strengthen Communications Capabilities Through Planning, Governance, Technology, and Equipment
  5. Enhance Community Preparedness
  6. Enhance Multi-Jurisdictional / Inter-Jurisdictional All-Hazards Incident Catastrophic Planning, Response, and Recovery Capabilities
  7. Improve Medical and Health Capabilities
  8. Enhance Incident Recovery Capabilities
  9. Strengthen Food and Agriculture Preparedness
  10. Prevent Violent Extremism Through Multi-Jurisdictional / Inter-Jurisdictional Collaboration and Coordination
  11. Enhance Homeland Security Exercise, Evaluation, and Training Programs
  12. Protect Against Effects of Climate Change

California Homeland Security StrategyAs the third largest state in the nation, and with iconic critical infrastructure, California is at risk from a myriad of threats and hazards including acts of terrorism, technological hazards, and natural disasters. The goals and objectives of this Strategy focus on enhancing capabilities to reduce and mitigate risk by taking a capabilities-based approach in prioritizing homeland security efforts. This will enable California to better prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all threats and hazards the State faces.

This Strategy builds on federal, state, and local homeland security strategies, plans, and frameworks, and seeks to ensure an integrated approach to building capabilities across the state. Homeland security is inherently a multi-jurisdictional /inter-jurisdictional effort. This Strategy will guide California in achieving its homeland security vision to enhance safety and preparedness in California through strong leadership, collaboration, and meaningful partnerships with state, local, and federal stakeholders.

Implementation and evaluation of the Strategy will occur through a series of working groups assigned to each goal and associated objectives. These working groups will monitor and track progress on the steps taken within the state to achieve the goals and objectives, and report to policymakers the status of implementation.

The mission to secure and prepare California, its people, and critical infrastructure from all threats and hazards is an ongoing effort that requires constant focus and attention. The current California Homeland Security Strategy is the latest iteration of the state’s commitment to this vital mission.
There are five sections to the California Homeland Security Strategy: Purpose and Principles, Focus and Mission, California Homeland Security Environment, Goals and Objectives, and Implementation and Evaluation.

Section I: Purpose and Principles

Section One identifies the purpose, vision, core values, and guiding principles of the Strategy. It also describes the relationship of the Strategy to other plans and frameworks within the state and at the federal level.

Section II: Focus and Mission

Section Two establishes the focus and integration of the Strategy with the five mission areas and the 32 Core Capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal (NPG). This section also provides a risk overview and details the threats and hazards the Strategy aims to address.

Section III: California Homeland Security Environment

Section Three describes the homeland security environment of the state, the organizational structure of homeland security, as well as the coordination resources available for incident planning, response, and recovery across the state.

Section IV: Goals and Objectives

Section Four outlines the goals and objectives of the Strategy. The Strategy’s goals outline California’s homeland security priorities, while objectives establish performance metrics to facilitate evaluation and implementation of the identified goals. Objectives are categorized under the Core Capabilities to ensure integration with Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funding, FEMA’s Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA), and the State Preparedness Report (SPR) framework.

Section V: Strategy Implementation and Evaluation

Section Five outlines the plan for Strategy implementation and evaluation. The section also covers how the Strategy aligns with existing funding and risk assessment mechanisms.

​California Homeland Security Strategy FAQ

1. What is this strategy?

The 2017-2020 California Homeland Security Strategy outlines the state’s homeland security priorities, establishes performance metrics to measure implementation of the Strategy, and aligns and integrates these priorities with statewide funding and evaluation mechanisms.

2. Why do we need this?

The State of California, its people, critical infrastructure, and key resources benefit from a Strategic plan that outlines measurable actions to enhance homeland security capability gaps. This Strategy enables the State to quantify the efficacy of statewide homeland security expenditures.

3. Who does this affect or apply to?

This Strategy outlines actionable objectives to enhance statewide homeland security, the execution of which will take place at the local and state level.

4. What are some examples of how this strategy is useful (i.e.; grants, setting priorities, long-term planning)?

The Strategy establishes an implementation framework that enables the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to assess capabilities, gaps, and link the state’s investments back to the Strategy’s goals and objectives.

5. If I want to add to it or suggest changes, am I able to?

Stakeholder input is critical to identify capability gaps in planning personnel, equipment, training, and exercises. Improvement plans from exercise after action reports frequently yield homeland security related capability gaps. Input from statewide homeland security stakeholders is welcomed; please submit information related to statewide capability gaps, or other information pertinent to the Strategy goals and objectives to: strategy.input@caloes.ca.gov

​California Risk Overview

Picture of California Sign at Cal Expo

​With the State approaching 38 million residents across nearly 156 thousand square miles, securing and preparing California requires continuous attention and strategic commitment from all levels of government, the private sector and the general public.

The State is prone to floods, fires and earthquakes as well as other natural disasters and is a high risk State regarding terrorism. Given these risks , the State's success depends upon effective partnerships with federal, State, tribal and local agencies, as well as the private sector, non-governmental organizations and individual citizens.

As such, California's strategic approach to homeland security is to develop multi-discipline, multi-jurisdictional, and regional frameworks for planning, organizing, equipping, training and exercising to strengthen homeland security.

​State Threat Assessment System

The State Threat Assessment System (STAS) helps safeguard the communities of California by serving as a dynamic security nexus comprised of the State, four Regional and a major urban area Fusion Center. The STAS assists in the detection, prevention, investigation and response to criminal and terrorist activity, disseminates intelligence and facilitates communications between state, local, federal, tribal agencies and private sector partners, to help them take action on threats and public safety issues. The STAS is a key component of California's Homeland Security Strategy.

The State Threat Assessment Center (STAC), is a partnership of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Department of Justice (CDOJ) and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and has connectivity and participation of a number of state and federal agencies.

The STAC provides statewide analysis products, information tracking, pattern analysis, geographic report linkages and other statewide intelligence products to public safety agencies throughout California. The STAC provides direct linkage to the State Warning Center, National Counter Terrorism Center and the National Watch List through the Homeland Security Operations Center.

logo if you see something

​Report Suspicious Activity

Public Safety is everyone's responsibility. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority.

Describe specifically what you observed, including:

  • Who or what you saw;
  • When you saw it;
  • Where it occurred; and
  • Why it's suspicious

If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1

​Public Information and Warning

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a system for national, state or local emergency warnings to the public. It relies on broadcast television and radio and the NOAA Weather Radio network to transmit emergency information. An EAS warning may be for a few blocks in a city or town or widespread to include an entire county, state or group of states to include the whole nation. In California, the EAS is used for warnings of an immediate threat, such as severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, evacuations of areas due to a hazardous materials incident, or a tsunami, or other event requiring immediate action.

The Emergency Digital Information Service (EDIS) delivers official information about emergencies and disasters to the public and the news media in California. EDIS has been in continuous operation since 1990. In 1999 the statewide EDIS network was upgraded to add image and sound capabilities and to use an advanced satellite datacast technology for reliable statewide service.

The California State Warning Center (CSWC) is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The mission of the CSWC is to be the central information hub for statewide emergency communications and notifications. The CSWC is staffed with Emergency Notification Controllers, Emergency Services Coordinators and Senior Communications Coordinators. The CSWC serves as a highly reliable and accurate "one-stop" resource for emergency management, law enforcement and key decision making personnel throughout the state.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

In addition to EAS, individuals who own a mobile device can now receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). These notifications are free messages sent directly to your cell phone, warning you about severe weather, AMBER Alerts and threats to safety in your area.

A WEA looks like a short, text message accompanied by a special tone and vibration. The WEA message will show:

  • Who is sending the alert
  • What is happening
  • Who is affected
  • What action to take

​Grants Management

The Homeland Security Grant Section (HSGS) is responsible for the overall grant management of California's State Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), Urban Security Initiative (UASI), Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), and Citizen Corps Program (CCP) Gant Program.

The HSGS conducts workshops throughout the state on grants management and grant application workshops. The HSGS is also responsible for the annual Investment Justification Planning Conference and coordinating the development and submission of California's applications for homeland security grant funds.

​Critical Infrastructure Protection

Critical infrastructure is an essential element for people in their everyday lives. From banks to chemical plants to commercial facilities, most critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, such as transportation routes, utilities, government facilities, schools, and hospitals which also provides the State with the capacity to respond to disasters. California’s resiliency (the ability to withstand, respond to, and recover from a disaster) strongly depends on its capacity to quickly restore the functioning of critical infrastructure and facilities after disasters. California’s critical assets cover all 16 DHS critical infrastructure sectors identified in Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21).

We all need to play a role in keeping infrastructure strong, secure, and resilient. We can do our part at home, at work, and in our community by being familiar with emergency plans, prepared for disruptions, incorporating basic cyber safety practices, and making sure that if we see something, we say something by reporting suspicious activities to local law enforcement.


The California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s primary mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that could damage California’s economy, its critical infrastructure, or public and private sector computer networks in our state.

​Critical Infrastructure Sectors

  • Chemical
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Communications
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy


  • Financial Services
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare and Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water and Wastewater Systems
Picture of the Golden Gate

​Our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace. We rely on this vast array of networks to communicate and travel, power our homes, run our economy, and provide government services.

Yet cyber intrusions and attacks have increased dramatically over the last decade, exposing sensitive personal and business information, disrupting critical operations, and imposing high costs on the economy.

The California Cybersecurity Task Force is co-chaired by the Director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the Director of the California Department of Technology. The task force is also composed of representatives from the public and private sectors; academia and Tribal governments

Picture of lock and world

​Geographic Information System (GIS)

The State’s GIS program in the Cal OES Critical Infrastructure Protection Division provides geospatial support and collaboration to develop and enhance regional GIS activities and strengthen Federal, State, local government and private sector partnerships through coordination with the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Database (HIFLD) Working Group, Sacramento Regional GIS Users Group, Bay Area Regional GIS Council (BAR-GC), California Technology Agency, and the California Homeland Security Geospatial Working group.


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