Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the federal government has created a Department of Homeland Security and initiated a color-coded terrorism warning system. It has done relatively little, however, to help train the police, fire, and public health departments that would be first responders in the event of future attacks. As part of its Homeland Security Project, the New York-based Century Foundation commissioned experts to examine preparedness efforts at the local level in Pennsylvania (52 pages, PDF), Texas (40 pages, PDF), Washington (36 pages, PDF), and Wisconsin (38 pages, PDF). Their findings reveal that things haven't changed much at the state level — in part because of budget constraints, institutional inertia, and a lack of support from the federal government. In an effort to address that state of affairs, The States and Homeland Security: Building the Missing Link (32 pages, PDF) recommends that the federal government establish minimum national guidelines for preparedness, provide more emergency-preparedness funding to the states, and assist local governments in building and deploying those resources.