The October 11, 2010 issue of Time "Locked and Loaded: The Secret World of Extreme Militias," took a controversial look at the world of private militias. What the article never mentioned is the not-so-secret world of militias out there called State Defense Forces (SDFs). These SDFs are authorized by state law and are under the command of state governors and senior military leaders. Made up entirely of volunteers, these militias are trained, organized, and prepared to back the National Guard in emergency response situations; they played a crucial role in hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 emergency response.
Twenty-three states and
Despite their value, State Defense Forces in many states are underfunded and under-supported. Many key or vulnerable states have not even created SDFs. Judging from more than 50 years of actuarial data on natural disasters, certain states face a predictable, high risk of experiencing a natural disaster. Further, an analysis of funding of cities through the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program has identified the 37 "highest risk" jurisdictions as indicated by the federal government. Of these high-risk states,