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Fact Sheet: National Response Plan

01/06/2005

What it does for America

The National Response Plan establishes a comprehensive all-hazards approach to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents.  The Plan incorporates best practices and procedures from incident management disciplines?homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, firefighting, public works, public health, responder and recovery worker health and safety, emergency medical services, and the private sector?and integrates them into a unified structure.  It forms the basis of how federal departments and agencies will work together and how the federal government will coordinate with state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector during incidents.  It establishes protocols to help protect the nation from terrorist attacks and other natural and manmade hazards; save lives; protect public health, safety, property, and the environment; and reduces adverse psychological consequences and disruptions to the American way of life.

Plan Organization

Base Plan: Concept of Operations, Coordinating Structures, Roles and Responsibilities, Definitions, etc.

Appendixes: Glossary, Acronyms, Authorities, and Compendium of National Interagency Plans

Emergency Support Function Annexes: Groups capabilities & resources into functions that are most likely needed during an incident (e.g., Transportation, Firefighting, Mass Care, etc.)

Support Annexes: Describes common processes and specific administrative requirements (e.g., Public Affairs, Financial Management, Worker Safety & Health, etc.)

Incident Annexes: Outlines core procedures, roles and responsibilities for specific contingencies (e.g., Bio, Radiological, Cyber, HAZMAT Spills)

National Response Plan Incident Management Priorities

  • Save lives and protect the health and safety of the public, responders, and recovery workers.
  • Ensure security of the homeland.
  • Prevent an imminent incident, including acts of terrorism, from occurring.
  • Protect and restore critical infrastructure and key resources.
  • Conduct law enforcement investigations to resolve the incident, apprehend the perpetrators, and collect and preserve evidence for prosecution and/or attribution.
  • Protect property and mitigate damages and impacts to individuals, communities, and the environment.
  • Facilitate recovery of individuals, families, businesses, governments, and the environment.

 

Emphasis on Local Response

  • The Plan identifies police, fire, public health and medical, emergency management, and other personnel as responsible for incident management at the local level.
  • The Plan enables incident response to be handled at the lowest possible organizational and jurisdictional level.
  • The Plan ensures the seamless integration of the federal government when an incident exceeds local or state capabilities.
  • Timely Federal Response to Catastrophic Incidents
  • The Plan identifies catastrophic incidents as high-impact, low-probability incidents, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks that result in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions.
  • The Plan provides the means to swiftly deliver federal support in response to catastrophic incidents.

 

Multi-agency Coordination Structure

  • The Plan identifies police, fire, public health and medical, emergency management, and other personnel as responsible for incident management at the local level.
  • The Plan enables incident response to be handled at the lowest possible organizational and jurisdictional level.
  • The Plan ensures the seamless integration of the federal government when an incident exceeds local or state capabilities.

 

New Coordinating Features in the National Response Plan

Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC): The HSOC serves as the primary national level multi-agency hub for domestic situational awareness and operational coordination.  The HSOC also includes DHS components, such as the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), which has primary responsibility for coordinating communications with the Nation?s critical infrastructure during an incident.

National Response Coordination Center (NRCC): The NRCC, a functional component of the HSOC, is a multi-agency center that provides overall federal response coordination.

Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC): At the regional level, the RRCC coordinates regional response efforts and implements local federal program support until a Joint Field Office is established.

Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG): A tailored group of senior federal interagency experts who provide strategic advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security during an actual or potential Incident of National Significance.

Joint Field Office (JFO): A temporary federal facility established locally to provide a central point to coordinate resources in support of state, local, and tribal authorities.

Principal Federal Official (PFO): A PFO may be designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security during a potential or actual Incident of National Significance. While individual federal officials retain their authorities pertaining to specific aspects of incident management, the PFO works in conjunction with these officials to coordinate overall federal incident management efforts.

 

Maintaining the National Response Plan

  • The Department of Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in close coordination with the DHS Office of the Secretary, will maintain the National Response Plan.
  • The Plan will be updated to incorporate new Presidential directives, legislative changes, and procedural changes based on lessons learned from exercises and actual events.

 

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