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FEMA IS-230.D: Fundamentals of Emergency Management Course Summary

FEMA IS-230.D: Fundamentals of Emergency Management Course Summary

IS-0230.d – Fundamentals of Emergency Management

Lesson 1: Emergency Management Overview

Course Goal

The goal of IS-0230.d: Fundamentals of Emergency Management is to introduce you to the fundamentals of emergency management.

This course presents emergency management as an integrated system with resources and capabilities networked together to address all hazards.

This is the first course in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute’s independent study Professional Development Series.

 

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the principles and authorities that are the foundation of emergency management.
  • Explain how the different partners contribute to emergency management in your community.
  • Explain how the core capabilities support the mission areas to ensure preparedness.
  • Describe the roles of each partner in emergency management.
  • Explain the steps and resources necessary for developing a comprehensive emergency operations plan.
  • Explain how to plan, manage, and coordinate resources for an efficient and effective response.
  • Explain the functions of emergency management in emergency and day-to-day situations.

 

Lesson Overview

The remainder of this lesson presents an overview of an integrated emergency management system, and where you fit within the system. At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Identify the intent of emergency management.
  • Describe the emergency management principles.
  • Describe the history of emergency management.
  • Describe evolving national preparedness doctrine.

 

What Is Emergency Management?

Throughout our Nation’s history, communities have always bonded together when disaster strikes. Emergency management simply creates a framework to help communities reduce vulnerabilities to threats and hazards and cope with disasters.

Emergency management is an essential role of government. The Constitution tasks the States with responsibility for public health and safety―hence, they are responsible for public risks, while the Federal Government’s ultimate obligation is to help when State, local, or individual entities are overwhelmed.

The overall goals of emergency management at all levels are:

  • First, to reduce the loss of life;
  • Then, to minimize property loss and damage to the environment;
  • And finally, to protect the jurisdiction from all threats and hazards.

We tend to think of emergency management as a relatively new concept. However, the idea of assessing risks and organizing to deal with those risks has been around, in one fashion or another, since humans began forming civilizations.

Our current vision of emergency management has not always been the same as it is today. Rather, it has evolved to reflect our national values and the threats we face.

Today we seek to create a secure and resilient Nation. We have learned that doing so requires that we work together to build and sustain capabilities across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.

 

What Is Emergency Management?

There are numerous definitions of emergency management. The definition below is based on the one developed by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

 

Emergency Management: The managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to threats/hazards and cope with disasters.

 

Why Emergency Management?

The reasons for the emergency management function are timeless and enduring, and include the following:

  • Threats and hazards exist—always have and always will.
  • Experience and empirical observation indicate that disaster events have a significant impact on humans and the environment.
  • Success in dealing with disasters depends primarily on how well prepared, organized, and coordinated we are.
  • Experience has shown that emergency management principles and practices actually work to achieve successful outcomes.

 

Integrated Management System

Integrated emergency management is a key concept adopted by emergency managers in the early 1980s. It embodies an all-threats/hazards approach to the direction, control, and coordination of disasters regardless of their location, size, or complexity, and it goes hand-in-hand with the concept of whole community preparedness.

Integrated emergency management is more than a methodology; it is a culture to achieve unity of effort—a way of thinking about emergency management as a joint enterprise. It is intended to create an organizational culture that is critical to achieving unity of effort between government, members of the community, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

Emergency management must be integrated into daily decisions, not just during times of disasters.

 

Why an Integrated Approach?

Integrated emergency management increases emergency management capability by establishing:

  • Prior networks, linkages, and partnerships.
  • Communication across organizational and jurisdictional boundaries, enabling all emergency functions to communicate with each other.
  • Creative thinking about resource shortfalls.
  • Coordinated testing, training, and exercising.
  • Improved ability to see the “big picture” for simultaneous responses.

 

Emergency Management Principles

Emergency management principles help us identify and apply agreed-upon practices. Before March 2007, there was no agreed-upon definition of principles that could form a basis for emergency management.

The Emergency Management Institute’s Higher Education Project working group identified the following eight principles:

Comprehensive – Emergency managers consider and take into account all threats/hazards, all phases, all stakeholders, and all impacts relevant to disasters.

Progressive – Emergency managers anticipate future disasters and take protective, preventive, and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities.

Risk-Driven – Emergency managers use sound risk management principles (threat/hazard identification, risk analysis, and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources.

Integrated – Emergency managers ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of a community.

Collaborative – Emergency managers create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus, and facilitate communication.

Coordinated – Emergency managers synchronize the activities of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose.

Flexible – Emergency managers use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges.

Professional – Emergency managers value a science- and knowledge-based approach based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship, and continuous improvement.

 

Emergency Management: The Roots

Now that you understand the overall intent of the emergency management function, let’s take a moment to look at how the system evolved.

Prior to the 1800s, disasters were managed solely with local resources. In December 1802, fire engulfed the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, destroying large areas. This disaster exceeded local capabilities and had a severe impact on commerce for the entire Nation. In response, Congress acted swiftly to pass the Congressional Relief Act of 1803, enabling the Federal Government to be involved in a local disaster.

The next notable era in the evolution of emergency management began with World War II in the 1940s and continued with the Cold War era beginning in the 1950s. During World War II, the Federal Government established civil defense programs, such as air raid warning and emergency shelter systems, to protect the civilian population. The Disaster Relief Act of 1950 gave the President authority to issue disaster declarations that allowed Federal agencies to provide direct assistance to State and local governments.

The Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 created a nationwide system of civil defense agencies, and defense drills became routine in schools, government agencies, and other organizations. During this era, emergency management was thought of as an extension of the civil defense movement.

In 1952, President Truman issued Executive Order 10427, which emphasized that Federal disaster assistance was intended to supplement, not supplant, the resources of State, local, tribal, and private-sector organizations. Today’s emergency management system supports the premise that disasters are best managed at the lowest possible governmental level, and that Federal assistance supports and does not direct these efforts.

During the 1960s and 1970s, as the Cold War was ending, the Nation experienced numerous devastating natural disasters. These disasters drew the Nation’s attention away from the civil defense mission to the need for well-coordinated Federal response and recovery operations during natural disasters.

As a result, Congress passed the Disaster Relief Act of 1969. This act created a Federal Coordinating Officer to represent the President in the relief effort. The law was extended as the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, which established the process of Presidential disaster declarations.

To ensure coordination of Federal disaster response and recovery, President Carter’s 1979 Executive order merged many of the separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

 

Review: A Brief History of Emergency Management Authorities

In order to understand an integrated emergency management system, it is important to first understand how the role of the Federal Government in disaster response has evolved over the past 200 years.

Congressional Act of 1803; Defense Production Act of 1950; Executive Order 10427 (1952); Executive Order 12127 (1979); The Stafford Act (1988 amended 2008-9); Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006

Congressional Act of 1803

The Congressional Act of 1803 was the earliest effort to provide disaster relief on a Federal level after a fire devastated a New Hampshire town. From that point forward, assorted legislation provided disaster support. Between 1803 and 1950, the Federal Government intervened in approximately 100 incidents (earthquakes, fires, floods, and tornadoes).

Defense Production Act of 1950

The Defense Production Act of 1950 was the first comprehensive legislation pertaining to Federal disaster relief. The Disaster Relief Act of 1950 gave the President authority to issue disaster declarations that allowed Federal agencies to provide direct assistance to State and local governments. The Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 created a nationwide system of civil defense agencies, and defense drills became routine in schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

Executive Order 10427

In 1952, President Truman issued Executive Order 10427, which emphasized that Federal disaster assistance was intended to supplement, not supplant, the resources of State, local, and private-sector organizations. This role is still the same today.

Executive Order 12127

President Carter’s 1979 Executive Order 12127 merged many of separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA was created to:

  • Coordinate Federal emergency authorities, including the administration of disaster response and recovery programs.
  • Assume the role of the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration and assume responsibilities from the Federal Preparedness Agency, the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency, the Federal Insurance Administration, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the U.S. Fire Administration.

FEMA is headquartered in Washington, DC, with 10 regional offices that help plan, coordinate, and manage disaster assistance activities, including disaster operations, disaster assistance, mitigation, and preparedness. Other activities include providing emergency food and shelter funding for those left homeless, and planning to ensure the continuity of the Federal Government during national security emergencies.

The Stafford Act

Today, the centerpiece legislation for providing Federal aid for emergency and disaster relief is the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 100-707). The Stafford Act:

  • Provides a system of emergency preparedness for the protection of life and property from hazards.
  • Vests responsibility for emergency preparedness jointly in the Federal Government, State and tribal governments, and their political subdivisions.
  • Gives FEMA responsibility for coordinating Federal Government response.

Under the Stafford Act, assistance is limited to:

  • Natural catastrophes (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or,
  • Regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion.

The Stafford Act is designed to supplement the efforts and available resources of States, tribes, local governments, and disaster relief organizations.

Under the Stafford Act, the President can designate an incident as either an “emergency” or a “major disaster.” Both authorize the Federal Government to provide essential assistance to meet immediate threats to life and property, as well as additional disaster relief assistance.

Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006

The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA) provided important provisions, including the key principle that after a major disaster or emergency declaration accelerated Federal assistance could be sent by FEMA, in the absence of a specific request by a State, to save lives and prevent suffering. Among its important provisions, PKEMRA:

  • Requires the development of pre-scripted mission assignments as part of the planning efforts for Emergency Support Function (ESF) response efforts.
  • Transfers to FEMA various preparedness functions formerly contained within DHS.
  • Employs the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF) as the framework for emergency response and domestic incident management.
  • Requires the development of comprehensive plans to respond to catastrophic incidents to include clear standardization, guidance, and assistance to ensure common terminology, approach, and framework for all strategic and operational planning.
  • Directs the development of a National Disaster Recovery Strategy and National Disaster Housing Strategy.
  • Amends the Stafford Act to direct FEMA to appoint a Disability Coordinator to ensure that the needs of individuals with disabilities are addressed in emergency preparedness and disaster relief.
  • Requires an annual report to Congress on all Federal planning and preparedness efforts.
  • Adds protection for household pets and service animals.

Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013

The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-2) authorizes several significant changes to the way FEMA may deliver disaster assistance under a variety of programs. Key changes relate to the following:

  • Public Assistance:
    • Authorizing alternative procedures for the Public Assistance (PA) Program.
    • Reviewing and evaluating the Public Assistance small project threshold.
    • Establishing a nationwide dispute resolution pilot program for Public Assistance projects.
  • Hazard Mitigation: Streamlining the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
  • Disaster Cost Reduction: Developing a national strategy to reduce costs on future disasters
  • Individual Assistance:
    • Revising the factors considered when evaluating the need for the Individual Assistance Program in a major disaster or emergency.
    • Authorizing the lease and repair of rental units for use as direct temporary housing.
  • Unified Federal Review: Establishing a unified and expedited interagency environmental and historic preservation process for disaster recovery projects.
  • Essential Assistance: Authorizing changes in the way certain government employees are reimbursed for performing emergency protective measures.
  • Tribal Requests for a Major Disaster or Emergency Declaration: Amending the Stafford Act to allow the Chief Executive of a federally recognized Indian tribe to make a direct request to the President for a major disaster or emergency declaration. Tribes may elect to receive assistance under a State’s declaration, provided that the President does not make a declaration for the tribe for the same incident. The Act also:
    • Authorizes the President to establish criteria to adjust the non-federal cost share for an Indian tribal government consistent to the extent allowed by current authorities.
    • Requires FEMA to consider the unique circumstances of tribes when it develops regulations to implement the provision.
    • Amends the Stafford Act to include federally recognized Indian tribal governments in numerous references to State and local governments within the Stafford Act.

The Stafford Act

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 100-707) created the system in place today by which a Presidential disaster declaration triggers financial and physical assistance through FEMA. The Stafford Act:

  • Covers all hazards, including natural disasters and terrorist events.
  • Provides primary authority for the Federal Government to respond to disasters and emergencies.
  • Gives FEMA responsibility for coordinating Government response efforts. The President’s authority is delegated to FEMA through separate mechanisms.
  • Describes the programs and processes by which the Federal Government provides disaster and emergency assistance to State and local governments, tribal nations, eligible private nonprofit organizations, and individuals affected by a declared major disaster or emergency.

 

Stafford Act: Definitions of Emergency and Major Disaster

Under the Stafford Act, the President can designate an incident as:

  • An emergency, or
  • A major disaster.

In certain circumstances, the President may declare an “emergency” unilaterally, but may only declare a “major disaster” at the request of a Governor or tribal Chief Executive who certifies the State or tribal government and affected local governments are overwhelmed.

Emergency: Any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State, tribal, and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. A variety of incidents may qualify as emergencies. The Federal assistance available for emergencies is more limited than that which is available for a major disaster.

Major Disaster: Any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under this chapter to supplement the efforts and available resources of States, tribal governments, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.

Major disasters may be caused by such natural events as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Disasters may include fires, floods, or explosions that the President feels are of sufficient magnitude to warrant Federal assistance. Although the types of incidents that may qualify as a major disaster are limited, the Federal assistance available for major disasters is broader than that available for emergencies.

 

Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act

Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 was the most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history. Gaps that became apparent in the response to that disaster led to the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA). PKEMRA significantly reorganized FEMA, provided it substantial new authority to remedy gaps in response, and included a more robust preparedness mission for FEMA. This act:

  • Establishes a Disability Coordinator and develops guidelines to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
  • Establishes the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System to reunify separated family members.
  • Coordinates and supports precautionary evacuations and recovery efforts.
  • Provides transportation assistance for relocating and returning individuals displaced from their residences in a major disaster.
  • Provides case management assistance to identify and address unmet needs of survivors of major disasters.

 

Emergency Management: Evolving Doctrine

Now that you understand the historical roots of emergency management, we’ll review the current doctrine.

Presidential Policy Directive 8, or PPD-8, describes the Nation’s approach to national preparedness. The National Preparedness Goal is the cornerstone for that approach. The Goal identifies the Nation’s core capabilities required for executing the five mission areas of Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

The National Preparedness System is an integrated set of guidance, programs, and processes that enable us to work together to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.

As a Nation, we are most prepared to face threats and hazards when we work together. The National Preparedness System provides the approach, resources, and tools for us to work together toward achieving our goal of a secure and resilient Nation.

 

Presidential Policy Directive 8

Preparedness requires the commitment of our entire Nation. Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) describes the Nation’s approach to preparedness—one that involves the whole community, including individuals, businesses, community- and faith-based organizations, schools, tribes, and all levels of government.

PPD-8 links together national preparedness efforts using the following key elements:

  • National Preparedness Goal
  • National Preparedness System
  • Whole Community Initiative
  • Annual National Preparedness Report

 

National Preparedness Goal

The National Preparedness Goal presents an integrated, layered, and all-of-Nation approach to preparedness.

Successful achievement of this Goal will result in a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.

 

National Preparedness Goal: Capabilities and Mission Areas

The emphasis of the National Preparedness Goal is on building and sustaining core capabilities across five mission areas.

Graphic showing the Preparedness Goal at the top, with a down arrow to Capabilities; below are the five mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery

 

What Are Core Capabilities?

The core capabilities are:

  • Distinct critical elements necessary to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.
  • Essential for the execution of each mission area: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.

Core Capabilities

Prevention Mission Area Core Capabilities

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard, as well as the actions being taken and the assistance being made available, as appropriate.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Forensics and Attribution Conduct forensic analysis and attribute terrorist acts (including the means and methods of terrorism) to their source, to include forensic analysis as well as attribution for an attack and for the preparation for an attack in an effort to prevent initial or follow-on acts and/or swiftly develop counter-options.
Intelligence and Information Sharing Provide timely, accurate, and actionable information resulting from the planning, direction, collection, exploitation, processing, analysis, production, dissemination, evaluation, and feedback of available information concerning threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of WMDs; or any other matter bearing on U.S. national or homeland security by Federal, State, local, and other stakeholders. Information sharing is the ability to exchange intelligence, information, data, or knowledge among Federal, State, local, or private sector entities, as appropriate.
Interdiction and Disruption Delay, divert, intercept, halt, apprehend, or secure threats and/or hazards.
Screening, Search, and Detection Identify, discover, or locate threats and/or hazards through active and passive surveillance and search procedures. This may include the use of systematic examinations and assessments, sensor technologies, or physical investigation and intelligence.

Protection Mission Area Core Capabilities

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community, as appropriate, in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Access Control and Identity Verification Apply a broad range of physical, technological, and cyber measures to control admittance to critical locations and systems, limiting access to authorized individuals to carry out legitimate activities.
Cybersecurity Protect against damage to, the unauthorized use of, and/or the exploitation of (and, if needed, the restoration of) electronic communications systems and services (and the information contained therein).
Intelligence and Information Sharing Provide timely, accurate, and actionable information resulting from the planning, direction, collection, exploitation, processing, analysis, production, dissemination, evaluation, and feedback of available information concerning threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of WMDs; or any other matter bearing on U.S. national or homeland security by Federal, State, local, and other stakeholders. Information sharing is the ability to exchange intelligence, information, data, or knowledge among Federal, State, local, or private sector entities as appropriate.
Interdiction and Disruption Delay, divert, intercept, halt, apprehend, or secure threats and/or hazards.
Physical Protective Measures Reduce or mitigate risks, including actions targeted at threats, vulnerabilities, and/or consequences, by controlling movement and protecting borders, critical infrastructure, and the homeland.
Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities Identify, assess, and prioritize risks to inform Protection activities and investments.
Screening, Search, and Detection Identify, discover, or locate threats and/or hazards through active and passive surveillance and search procedures. This may include the use of systematic examinations and assessments, sensor technologies, or physical investigation and intelligence.
Supply Chain Integrity and Security Strengthen the security and resilience of the supply chain.

Mitigation Mission Area Core Capabilities

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Community Resilience Lead the integrated effort to recognize, understand, communicate, plan, and address risks so that the community can develop a set of actions to accomplish Mitigation and improve resilience.
Long-Term Vulnerability Reduction Build and sustain resilient systems, communities, and critical infrastructure and key resources lifelines so as to reduce their vulnerability to natural, technological, and human-caused incidents by lessening the likelihood, severity, and duration of the adverse consequences related to these incidents.
Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment Assess risk and disaster resilience so that decision makers, responders, and community members can take informed action to reduce their entity’s risk and increase their resilience.
Threats and Hazard Identification Identify the threats and hazards that occur in the geographic area; determine the frequency and magnitude; and incorporate this into analysis and planning processes so as to clearly understand the needs of a community or entity.

Response Mission Area Core Capabilities

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Critical Transportation Provide transportation (including infrastructure access and accessible transportation services) for response priority objectives, including the evacuation of people and animals, and the delivery of vital response personnel, equipment, and services into the affected areas.
Environmental Response/Health and Safety Ensure the availability of guidance and resources to address all hazards including hazardous materials, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters in support of the responder operations and the affected communities.
Fatality Management Services Provide fatality management services, including body recovery and victim identification, working with State and local authorities to provide temporary mortuary solutions, sharing information with mass care services for the purpose of reunifying family members and caregivers with missing persons/remains, and providing counseling to the bereaved.
Infrastructure Systems Stabilize critical infrastructure functions, minimize health and safety threats, and efficiently restore and revitalize systems and services to support a viable, resilient community.
Mass Care Services Provide life-sustaining services to the affected population with a focus on hydration, feeding, and sheltering to those who have the most need, as well as support for reunifying families.
Mass Search and Rescue Operations Deliver traditional and atypical search and rescue capabilities, including personnel, services, animals, and assets to survivors in need, with the goal of saving the greatest number of endangered lives in the shortest time possible.
On-Scene Security and Protection Ensure a safe and secure environment through law enforcement and related security and protection operations for people and communities located within affected areas and also for all traditional and atypical response personnel engaged in lifesaving and life-sustaining operations.
Operational Communications Ensure the capacity for timely communications in support of security, situational awareness, and operations by any and all means available, among and between affected communities in the impact area and all response forces.
Public and Private Services and Resources Provide essential public and private services and resources to the affected population and surrounding communities, to include emergency power to critical facilities, fuel support for emergency responders, and access to community staples (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks) and fire and other first response services.
Public Health and Medical Services Provide lifesaving medical treatment via emergency medical services and related operations and avoid additional disease and injury by providing targeted public health and medical support and products to all people in need within the affected area.
Situational Assessment Provide all decision makers with decision-relevant information regarding the nature and extent of the hazard, any cascading effects, and the status of the response.

Recovery Mission Area Core Capabilities

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Economic Recovery Return economic and business activities (including food and agriculture) to a healthy state and develop new business and employment opportunities that result in a sustainable and economically viable community.
Health and Social Services Restore and improve health and social services networks to promote the resilience, independence, health (including behavioral health), and well-being of the whole community.
Housing Implement housing solutions that effectively support the needs of the whole community and contribute to its sustainability and resilience.
Infrastructure Systems Stabilize critical infrastructure functions, minimize health and safety threats, and efficiently restore and revitalize systems and services to support a viable, resilient community.
Natural and Cultural Resources Protect natural and cultural resources and historic properties through appropriate planning, mitigation, response, and recovery actions to preserve, conserve, rehabilitate, and restore them consistent with post-disaster community priorities and best practices and in compliance with appropriate environmental and historical preservation laws and executive orders.

 

 

Mission Areas

Mission areas differ from phases of emergency management. Each area is comprised of the capabilities required for executing the mission or function at any time (before, during, or after an incident) and across all threats and hazards. It is important to shift your thinking to capabilities!

Prevention: The capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism. As defined by PPD-8, the term “prevention” refers to preventing imminent threats.

Protection: The capabilities necessary to secure the homeland against acts of terrorism and manmade or natural disasters.

Mitigation: The capabilities necessary to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.

Response: The capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred.

Recovery: The capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident to recover effectively.

 

National Planning Frameworks

For each mission area there is a national planning framework. Each framework contains succinct, high-level descriptions of the coordinating structures necessary to:

  • Deliver the core capabilities from that mission area, and
  • Support the delivery of core capabilities from the other mission areas.

 

National Preparedness System

The National Preparedness System is an integrated set of guidance, programs, and processes that enables the whole community to meet the National Preparedness Goal. This System is comprised of the six major components shown in the graphic.

Preparedness System Cycle with the following six major components: (1) Identifying and Assessing Risk, (2) Estimating Capability Requirements, (3) Building and Sustaining Capabilities, (4) Planning to Deliver Capabilities, (5) Validating Capabilities, and (6) Reviewing and UpdatingIdentifying and Assessing Risk

Developing and maintaining an understanding of the variety of risks faced by communities and the Nation, and how this information can be used to build and sustain preparedness, are essential components of the National Preparedness System. A risk assessment collects information regarding the threats and hazards, including the projected consequences or impacts.

Estimating Capability Requirements

To fully understand capability requirements, each community, organization, and level of government must consider single threats or hazards as well as the full range of risks they may face. Using the results from a risk assessment in the context of the desired outcome(s) for each mission area, the required types and levels of capability can be estimated.

Building and Sustaining Capabilities

After completing the estimation process, existing and needed capabilities can be analyzed and gaps
identified. These gaps can be prioritized based on a combination of the desired outcomes, risk
assessments, and the potential effects of not addressing the gaps.

Working together, planners, government officials, and elected leaders can develop strategies to
allocate resources effectively, as well as leverage available assistance to reduce risk. These strategies
consider how to both sustain current levels of capability and address gaps in order to achieve the
National Preparedness Goal.

Planning to Deliver Capabilities

The whole community contributes to reducing the Nation’s risks. Planning for low-probability, high-consequence risks—such as a terrorist attack with nuclear or biological weapons or a catastrophic earthquake affecting multiple jurisdictions—will be a complex undertaking and involve many partners. Federal efforts, therefore, must complement planning at other levels of government, which is often focused on more likely risks. These shared planning efforts form a National Planning System by which the whole community can think through potential crises, determine capability requirements, and address the collective risk identified during the risk assessment process.

Validating Capabilities

Measuring progress toward achieving the National Preparedness Goal will provide the means to decide how and where to allocate scarce resources and prioritize preparedness. This validation process can be done through exercises, remedial action management programs, and assessments.

Reviewing and Updating

The Nation’s security and resilience will be strengthened as it employs the components of the National Preparedness System. Changes in a community’s exposure and sensitivity can and do occur, however, whether from evolving threats and hazards, aging infrastructure, shifts in population, or changes in the natural environment. On a recurring basis, capabilities, resources, and plans should be reviewed to determine if they remain relevant or need to be updated.

 

National Planning Frameworks

Within the National Preparedness System is the National Planning System, which includes a national planning framework for each mission area. Each framework contains succinct, high-level descriptions of the coordinating structures necessary to:

  • Deliver the core capabilities from that mission area, and
  • Support the delivery of core capabilities from the other mission areas.

 

Leveraging the Whole Community

Effective emergency management means finding, connecting to, and strengthening community resources by leveraging the expertise and capacity of:

  • Individuals and households.
  • Private and nonprofit sectors.
  • Community entities, including advocacy and faith-based organizations.
  • All levels of government.

 

National Incident Management System (NIMS)

NIMS represents a core set of doctrines, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enable effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management.

NIMS integrates smart practices into a comprehensive framework for use nationwide by emergency management/response personnel in an all-hazards context. These smart practices lay the groundwork for the components of NIMS and provide the mechanisms for the further development and refinement of supporting national standards, guidelines, protocols, systems, and technologies.

NIMS fosters the development of specialized technologies that facilitate emergency management and incident response activities, and allows for the adoption of new approaches that will enable continuous refinement of the system over time.

 

NIMS: Major Components

Five major components make up the NIMS system approach:

Preparedness: Effective emergency management and incident response activities begin with a host of preparedness activities conducted on an ongoing basis, in advance of any potential incident. Preparedness involves an integrated combination of assessment; planning; procedures and protocols; training and exercises; personnel qualifications, licensure, and certification; equipment certification; and evaluation and revision.

Communications and Information Management: Emergency management and incident response activities rely on communications and information systems that provide a common operating picture to all command and coordination sites. NIMS describes the requirements necessary for a standardized framework for communications and emphasizes the need for a common operating picture. This component is based on the concepts of interoperability, reliability, scalability, and portability, as well as the resiliency and redundancy of communications and information systems.

Resource Management: Resources (such as personnel, equipment, or supplies) are needed to support critical incident objectives. The flow of resources must be fluid and adaptable to the requirements of the incident. NIMS defines standardized mechanisms and establishes the resource management process to identify requirements, order and acquire, mobilize, track and report, recover and demobilize, reimburse, and inventory resources.

Command and Management: The Command and Management component of NIMS is designed to enable effective and efficient incident management and coordination by providing a flexible, standardized incident management structure. The structure is based on three key organizational constructs: the Incident Command System, Multiagency Coordination Systems, and Public Information.

Ongoing Management and Maintenance: Within the auspices of Ongoing Management and Maintenance, there are two components: the National Integration Center (NIC) and Supporting Technologies.

 

Emergency Management Programs and Standards

In support of the National Preparedness Goal, two programs for government and private-sector accreditation are available.

  • The Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) is a standard-based voluntary assessment and accreditation process for government programs.
  • The Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep™) is a voluntary program primarily serving as a resource for private and nonprofit entities.

 

Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP)

EMAP provides States, territories, and local government emergency management programs with a voluntary accreditation process that is intended to encourage examination of strengths and weaknesses, pursuit of corrective measures, and communication and planning among different sectors of government and the community.

EMAP builds on standards and assessment work by various organizations, adding requirements for documentation and verification that neither standards nor self -assessment alone can provide.

Emergency Management Standards

  • Program Management
  • Administration and Finance
  • Laws and Authorities
  • Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment, and Consequence Analysis
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Prevention and Security
  • Planning
  • Incident Management
  • Resource Management and Logistics
  • Mutual Aid
  • Communications and Warning
  • Operations and Procedures
  • Facilities
  • Training
  • Exercises, Evaluations, and Corrective Action
  • Crisis Communications, Public Education, and Information

 

PS-Prep™

PS-Prep is a voluntary program primarily serving as a resource for private and nonprofit entities interested in instituting a comprehensive business continuity management system.

PS-Prep is the result of Public Law 110-53, Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act, and is intended to improve the preparedness of private-sector and nonprofit organizations. PS-Prep adopts the following three preparedness standards:

ASIS International

The ASIS International Organizational Resilience Standard includes requirements for:

  • General Requirements
  • Organizational Resilience Management Policy
  • Planning
  • Implementation and Operation
  • Checking (Evaluation)
  • Management Review

British Standards Institution (BSI)

The BSI has established the first British standard for business continuity management. It includes two parts: the Code of Practice and the Specification.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The NFPA Standards Council established the Disaster Management Committee in January 1991. The committee was given the responsibility for developing documents relating to preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters resulting from natural, human, or technological events.

The 2013 standards address:

  • Program Management:
    • Leadership and Commitment
    • Program Coordinator
    • Program Committee
    • Program Administration
    • Laws and Authorities
    • Finance and Administration
    • Records Management
  • Planning:
    • Planning and Design Process
    • Risk Assessment
    • Business Impact Analysis
    • Resource Needs Assessment
    • Performance Objectives
  • Implementation:
    • Common Plan Requirements
    • Prevention
    • Mitigation
    • Crisis Communications and Public Information
    • Warning, Notifications, and Communications
    • Operational Procedures
    • Incident Management
    • Emergency Operations/Response Plan
    • Business Continuity and Recovery
    • Employee Assistance and Support
  • Training and Education:
    • Curriculum
    • Goal of Curriculum
    • Scope and Frequency of Instruction
    • Incident Management System Training
    • Recordkeeping
    • Regulatory and Program Requirements
    • Public Education
  • Exercises and Tests:
    • Program Evaluation
    • Exercise and Test Methodology
    • Design of Exercises and Tests
    • Exercise and Test Evaluation
    • Frequency
  • Program Maintenance and Improvement:
    • Program Reviews
    • Corrective Action
    • Continuous Improvement

 

Putting It All Together

The foundation of an integrated management system is the authorities, guidance, policies, principles, and programs presented in this lesson. The key is to engage the whole community to build and sustain capabilities by:

  • Contributing to achievement of the National Preparedness Goal by assessing and preparing for the most relevant and urgent risks.
  • Establishing an emergency management program based on the emergency management principles.
  • Using the guidance provided by the National Preparedness System and NIMS to build capabilities.

 

Resources

This lesson provided information on emergency management principles, systems, and programs. Below are links to get more information.

Acts

Doctrine

Emergency Management Programs and Standards

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Courses: http://training.fema.gov/

Lesson Summary

This lesson introduced foundations of emergency management including:

  • The intent of emergency management.
  • Emergency management principles.
  • History of emergency management.
  • Evolving national preparedness doctrine.

In the next lesson, you will learn about FEMA’s mission and goals, key players, and the integration of emergency management in local government.

 

Lesson 2: Emergency Management Partners

Lesson Overview

This lesson presents an overview of FEMA’s mission and goals, key partners, and the role of emergency management in local government. At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the roles of the partners in emergency management.
  • Identify the location of the emergency management function within your local government.
  • Relate the topics to your job and community.

 

Tornado in Barneveld, Wisconsin

On June 8th, 1984 at 12:50 a.m., a devastating tornado struck the small village of Barneveld, Wisconsin. Because the tornado originated near the town, there was no time for a warning. The town, which had approximately 580 residents, was flattened by winds in excess of 200 miles an hour. Nine people died and 57 were treated for injuries. The storm destroyed 120 homes, 11 businesses, the elementary school, 5 churches, and all of the municipal buildings, including a new fire station. The village was left without electricity, telephone service, or water. Damage was estimated at over $20 million.

Within 5 minutes of the devastation the local power company was in radio contact with the sheriff’s office, and within 40 minutes they were moving trucks into the area. The telephone company quickly set up an emergency bank of phones. A command post was established to coordinate emergency operations. Local officials immediately began to clear debris from the stricken area.

Police, fire, and emergency medical personnel concentrated their efforts on search and rescue operations for those who were trapped in collapsed structures. The village was evacuated to another town where congregate care was set up by the Red Cross.

The town received State assistance immediately. The State response was coordinated through the emergency operations center, which was also dealing with other tornado damage. The State Highway Patrol directed traffic and assisted in securing portions of the affected area, and the National Guard provided security and law enforcement support, as well as conducting emergency operations. The Department of Natural Resources assisted in security, traffic control, and recovery operations. The State Department of Health Services supported the county social services offices, which were quickly overwhelmed with requests for assistance.

Federal assistance was granted on June 9th and a disaster assistance center was set up 20 miles from the town to serve survivors from Barneveld and other impacted locations. Because few residents had cars in working order, transportation to the center was difficult. Many residents were angered to find that emergency loans required several months to process. Having no way to earn a living, many left the village.

The after-action report noted many gaps in the county plan including no plans for debris removal, systematic turn-off of gas, or identification of hazardous materials and toxic substances. Also, there was no designation of who would be in charge of cleanup, and no site designated for disposal.

The town also lacked a plan to coordinate volunteer agencies. While there were many volunteers, no one was in charge.

The lessons learned from Barneveld emphasize the need for an emergency management program that includes all partners in the preparedness process.

 

FEMA Mission and Goals

As you learned in the previous module, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was established by Executive Order 12127 in 1979. FEMA later became part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a Nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA leads and supports the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness that includes prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation.

 

FEMA: Coordination and Support

FEMA’s role is to coordinate the Federal resources that support State, local, tribal, and territorial efforts when a Federal emergency or disaster is declared.

One of FEMA’s most important supporting roles is to provide disaster assistance to individuals and communities.

FEMA does not assume total responsibility for disaster assistance but does assume the role of coordinating Federal resources and supporting State, local, tribal, and territorial efforts when a Federal emergency or disaster is declared.

 

Partners in Emergency Management

Effective action to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from any type of threat or hazard requires the active involvement of numerous partners.

Network diagram showing the partners in emergency management: local government, tribal government, nonprofit sector, private sector, State government, territorial government, and community members

These partners include the private and nonprofit sectors: businesses, faith-based organizations, advocacy groups for those with disabilities and other access and functional needs, and community members, in conjunction with local, tribal, territorial, State, and Federal Government partners. This focus on enabling the participation of partners in national preparedness activities is referred to as the Whole Community approach.

 

Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management

When looking at the roles of partners in emergency management, it is important to consider the Whole Community concept.

“Whole community is a means by which residents, emergency management practitioners, organization and community leaders, and government officials can collectively understand and assess the needs of their respective communities and determine the best ways to organize and strengthen their assets, capacities and interests.”

– A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action

Let’s start with the role of the government in emergency management.

 

Partners: Government

Each level of government participates in and contributes to emergency management.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a Nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA leads and supports the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness that includes prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation.

FEMA’s role is to coordinate Federal resources that support State, local, tribal, and territorial efforts when a Federal emergency or disaster is declared. One of FEMA’s most important supporting roles is to provide disaster assistance to individuals and communities.

The Federal Government has legal authorities, fiscal resources, research capabilities, technical information and services, and specialized personnel to assist local, tribal, territorial, and State agencies in responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters.

When an incident occurs that exceeds or is anticipated to exceed local or State resources—or when an incident is managed by Federal departments or agencies acting under their own authorities—the Federal Government uses the National Response Framework to involve all necessary department and agency capabilities, organize the Federal response, and ensure coordination with response partners.

Each State government has legal authority for emergency response and recovery and serves as the point of contact between local and Federal governments.

At the State level, the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR), State Director of Emergency Management, and State Coordinating Officer can share information with State agencies (e.g., Department of Agriculture) and FEMA regional representatives to bring the necessary response and recovery resources to bear on the incident.

Under the Stafford Act, U.S. territories are included in the definition of States.

The United States has a trust relationship with federally recognized Indian tribes and recognizes their right to self-government. As such, tribal governments are responsible for coordinating resources to address actual or potential incidents. When tribal resources are not adequate, tribal leaders seek assistance from States or the Federal Government.

Tribes are equivalent to States in their ability to request a major disaster declaration or an emergency declaration from the President. Tribal governments may choose instead to work through the State, in which case a State Governor requests a declaration on behalf of the tribe.  Federal departments or agencies can work directly with the tribe within existing authorities and resources.

Territorial and insular area governments are responsible for coordinating resources to address actual or potential incidents. Due to their remote locations, territories and insular area governments often face unique challenges in receiving assistance from outside the jurisdiction quickly and often request assistance from neighboring islands, other nearby countries, States, the private sector or nongovernmental organization  resources, or the Federal Government. Federal assistance is delivered in accordance with pertinent Federal authorities (e.g., the Stafford Act or through other authorities of Federal departments or agencies).

Local government has direct responsibility for the safety of its people, knowledge of the situation and accompanying resource requirements, and proximity to both event and resources. Within local government are emergency services departments that are capable of responding to emergencies 24 hours a day. They include law enforcement, fire/emergency medical services, and public works. They may also be referred to as emergency response personnel or first responders.

 

Local Government Emergency Management Placement

The organizational placement of emergency management affects the way that relationships are developed. Some options include placing the emergency management function in a separate organization or within fire/rescue or law enforcement departments.

Function Advantages Challenges
In a Separate Organization
  • Perception of bias minimized.
  • More visibility is possible.
  • Increased access within local government.
  • Rapport may need to be built with officials from other departments and agencies.
  • Building strong networks may be more difficult.
Within Fire/Rescue or Law Enforcement
  • An emergency manager in a first-response agency can be an asset.
  • Relationships built due to proximity pay off in development and maintenance of an emergency management program.
  • Perceived allegiance to the organization to which the emergency management function reports may hamper coalition-building efforts.
  • There may be the perception of a “response only” focus and not a focus on an all-hazards approach for all mission areas of emergency preparedness.

 

Partners: Private and Nonprofit Sectors

Government agencies are responsible for protecting the lives and property of their citizens and promoting their well-being. However, the government does not, and cannot, work alone. In many facets of an incident, the government works with the private and nonprofit sectors as partners in emergency management.

Private and nonprofit sectors are encouraged to develop contingency plans and to work with State, tribal, and local planners to ensure that their plans are consistent with pertinent plans, national planning frameworks, and the National Incident Management System.

 

Private Sector

Private-sector organizations play a key role before, during, and after an incident and are important in building resilient communities. Businesses must consider what they need to survive an emergency or disaster, as well as the needs of their customers and employees.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning can help private firms return to normal operations more quickly after a disaster. As mentioned in Lesson 1, PS-Prep is a resource to help businesses broaden their recovery planning.

Emergency managers must work seamlessly with businesses that provide water, power, communications networks, transportation, medical care, security, and numerous other services upon which both response and recovery are particularly dependent.

 

Nonprofit Sector

Organizations in the nonprofit sector, including nongovernmental organizations, have enormously important roles before, during, and after an incident. They provide:

  • Sheltering, emergency food supplies, counseling services, and other vital support services to support response and promote the recovery of disaster survivors.
  • Specialized services that help individuals with disabilities and other access and functional needs.

A key feature of nonprofit organizations is their commitment to specific sets of interests and values, which drive the groups’ operational priorities and shape the resources they provide.

Nonprofit organizations bolster and support government efforts. These organizations collaborate with responders, governments at all levels, and other agencies and organizations.

 

Key Nonprofit: National VOAD

A key nonprofit organization is the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (National VOAD).

National VOAD:

  • Is the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response, and recovery—to help survivors and their communities.
  • Is a consortium of approximately 55 national organizations and 55 State and territorial equivalents.
  • Typically sends representatives to FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center to represent voluntary organizations and assist in response coordination during major incidents.

 

Partners: Community and Citizens

FEMA recognizes that a government-centric approach to emergency management is not always enough to meet the challenges posed by an incident.

FEMA’s Whole Community approach includes community engagement strategies to promote discussion on approaches that position local residents for roles in planning, organizing, and sharing accountability for the success of local disaster management efforts. This approach enhances the Nation’s security and resilience.

Emergency managers need to engage and plan for the needs of the whole community. This can include community members who:

  • Speak languages other than English.
  • Are from diverse cultures or economic backgrounds.
  • Are all ages (i.e., from children and youths to seniors).
  • Have disabilities and/or other access and functional needs.
  • Are traditionally underrepresented in civic governance.

 

Role of Communities and Citizens

Individuals need to help take responsibility for their own self-preparedness efforts. By working together, community members develop a collective capacity to enhance the community’s security and resilience.

Individuals and families can contribute by:

  • Reducing hazards in and around their homes.
  • Developing a preparedness plan.
  • Assembling emergency supplies.
  • Monitoring emergency communications.
  • Volunteering with an established organization.
  • Taking training in emergency response.

Recommendations for emergency supplies:

  • Water – 1 gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation (Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water to treat water for drinking. Do not use scented or color-safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.)
  • Food – At least a 3-day supply of nonperishable food (ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables; canned juices, milk, and soup (if powdered, store extra water); staples like sugar, salt, pepper; high-energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Clothing and bedding – If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. Have one complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
    • A jacket or coat
    • Long pants
    • A long-sleeved shirt
    • Sturdy shoes
    • A hat and gloves
    • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Additional supplies (some may be dangerous, so an adult should assemble them and they should not be accessible by children):
    • Rain gear
    • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
    • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
    • Paper towels
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Tent
    • Compass
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Signal flare
    • Paper and pencil
    • Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
    • Disinfectant
    • Household chlorine bleach
    • Medicine dropper
    • Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • First aid kit to include:
    • Basics:
      • Two pairs of latex glove (or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to latex)
      • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
      • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
      • Antibiotic ointment
      • Burn ointment
      • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
      • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
      • Thermometer
      • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
      • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
    • Nonprescription drugs:
      • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
      • Anti-diarrhea medication
      • Antacid
      • Laxative
    • Other first aid supplies:
      • Scissors
      • Tweezers
      • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

 

Emergency Response Training

Training resources are available to citizens and communities to help them prepare for an emergency. These include:

  • Citizen Corps’ Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, which prepares citizens to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors in the event of a disaster. CERT training covers basic disaster survival and rescue skills that are important to have when professional emergency services are not available. Topics covered include:
    • Disaster preparedness.
    • Basic fire safety.
    • Disaster medical operations.
    • Light search and rescue operations.
  • FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute independent study courses.
  • Additional training opportunities through your State Emergency Management Agency.

 

Training for the Whole Community

FEMA’s IS-909 course and “Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere” tools support communities already engaged in preparation or interested in becoming more prepared.

To support new and existing neighborhood preparedness programs, the Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere tools are comprised of 16 preparedness modules on topics ranging from preparedness on a budget to fire extinguisher operation, and specific topics such as disaster planning for a pet or service animal.

In April 2012, a representative from a Dallas community-based community organization reported that two people she trained using these materials were able to protect their families during violent tornadoes.

Additional information and access to the materials is available through the IS-909 – Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone course page.

 

Partner Success Stories

There are many examples of successes that result from involving community partners in emergency management efforts. Let’s look at a few from the March 2012 National Preparedness Report.

Nonprofit Sector

In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene made landfall along the east coast of the United States. Ultimately, the storm resulted in major disaster declarations in 13 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

As a result of the storm, more than 27,000 people found shelter in approximately 500 locations opened by States, localities, and the American Red Cross. Working with its mass care partners, the American Red Cross supplied 1.8 million meals and snacks, provided 22,000 health and mental health consultations, and distributed nearly 127,000 relief items, just 11 days after the storm’s landfall. In Pennsylvania alone, numerous organizations supported the relief effort:

  • The Southern Baptist Convention helped set up two mobile kitchens;
  • County mental health agencies deployed volunteers to emergency aid stations;
  • The American Humane Association established pet shelters;
  • Mennonite Disaster Service helped clean out homes;
  • The Teamsters assisted in transporting supplies;
  • The Boy Scouts of America helped assemble hundreds of coolers packed with food, supplies, and information; and
  • Local organizations donated over $400,000 worth of in-kind supplies and materials.

Private Sector

Tropical Storm Irene struck Vermont on August 28, 2011, damaging more than 500 miles of State highways and closing 34 State bridges. The resulting damage isolated 13 communities, forcing Vermont’s National Guard to airlift food and water. By August 31, crews had restored emergency access to all isolated communities. Within 30 days, 98 percent of the roads were reopened. Four months later, Vermont officials celebrated the final repair of Route 107, the last State highway to reopen after sustaining severe flood damage. In the 3-mile section of Route 107 hit the hardest, a strip of road about 4,000 feet long was completely missing. Completing this repair normally would have taken 2 years, but only took 119 days. More than 46 companies worked with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, National Guard units, and law enforcement to complete the repairs.

Community Partnerships

The May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, damaged the community’s social services infrastructure, creating new needs for many community residents, particularly among at-risk populations of older adults and children. Partnerships among community residents, community-based organizations, and agencies at all levels of government have proven integral to successful social services recovery. For example, State and local Aging Networks partnered with the HHS Administration on Aging to help older residents who lost their homes obtain relocation assistance. Similarly, an innovative Child Care Task Force—coordinated by the HHS Administration of Children and Families and implemented in partnership with Federal, State, local, and nonprofit stakeholders—harnessed resources to meet Joplin’s emergency child care needs after the tornado destroyed or damaged 27 child care facilities. When the tornado demolished six school buildings, the Joplin School District relocated classes to alternate facilities, including empty retail space at a local mall. Public-private collaboration allowed schools to open on time in August 2011.

 

Resources

This lesson provided information on the different emergency management roles in the community. Below are links to get more information.

 

Lesson Summary

This lesson introduced you to the key partners in emergency management and the roles each performs. You should now know:

  • The mission and goal of FEMA.
  • Key players in the emergency management network.
  • The roles of the key players.
  • Where the emergency management function may be located in local government.

In the next lesson, you will learn about the emergency management components necessary for preparedness.

 

Lesson 3: Emergency Management Key Components

Lesson Overview

This lesson presents emergency management activities that happen before, during, and after an incident. At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the mission areas of emergency management.
  • Identify capabilities that communities, individuals, and families can build in connection with each of the mission areas.
  • Describe the planning activities and documents that pertain to the local, tribal, State, and Federal levels.
  • Identify the types of assistance that may be available from the Federal Government.

 

Emergency Management Program Basics

An emergency management program:

  • Develops and implements programs and capabilities aimed at reducing the impact of incidents on the community.
  • Identifies potential threats and hazards and threats and assesses the risk posed by them.
  • Plans for those risks that cannot be eliminated.
  • Prescribes the actions required to deal with the consequences of actual events and to recover from those events.

 

Emergency Management Actions

Emergency management actions occur as:

  • Pre-incident activities, such as information sharing, threat and hazard identification, planning, training, and readiness exercises.
  • Incident activities that include lifesaving missions and critical infrastructure support protection.
  • Post-incident activities that help people and communities recover and rebuild for a safer future.

 

Preparedness

Preparedness includes a range of deliberate, critical tasks and activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the operational capability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from incidents.

Preparedness is a continuous process involving efforts at all levels of government and between government and private-sector and nongovernmental organizations to identify threats, determine vulnerabilities, determine impacts on capabilities, and identify required resources.

Preparedness includes plans or other preparations made to save lives and facilitate response and recovery operations.

 

Emergency Management Preparedness Mission Areas

The National Preparedness Goal identifies mission areas within which we must build and sustain capabilities. Using a whole community approach, emergency management supports or executes the following mission areas:

  • Prevention: The capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism. As defined by PPD-8, the term “prevention” refers to preventing imminent threats.
  • Protection: The capabilities necessary to secure the homeland against acts of terrorism and human-caused or natural disasters.
  • Mitigation: The capabilities necessary to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.
  • Response: The capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred.
  • Recovery: The capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident to recover effectively.

 

Prevention and Protection

Some of the capabilities necessary to support the Protection and Prevention mission areas include:

  • Identifying threats and hazards.
  • Sharing information with Federal, State, tribal, local, and private-sector partners.
  • Applying physical, technological, and cyber measures to limit access and verify identity.

Prevention Mission Area Capabilities and Preliminary Targets

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard, as well as the actions being taken and the assistance being made available, as appropriate.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Forensics and Attribution Conduct forensic analysis and attribute terrorist acts (including the means and methods of terrorism) to their source, to include forensic analysis as well as attribution for an attack and for the preparation for an attack in an effort to prevent initial or follow-on acts and/or swiftly develop counter-options.
Intelligence and Information Sharing Provide timely, accurate, and actionable information resulting from the planning, direction, collection, exploitation, processing, analysis, production, dissemination, evaluation, and feedback of available information concerning threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of WMDs; or any other matter bearing on U.S. national or homeland security by Federal, State, local, and other stakeholders. Information sharing is the ability to exchange intelligence, information, data, or knowledge among Federal, State, local, or private-sector entities, as appropriate.
Interdiction and Disruption Delay, divert, intercept, halt, apprehend, or secure threats and/or hazards.
Screening, Search, and Detection Identify, discover, or locate threats and/or hazards through active and passive surveillance and search procedures. This may include the use of systematic examinations and assessments, sensor technologies, or physical investigation and intelligence.

Protection Mission Area Capabilities and Preliminary Targets

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community, as appropriate, in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Access Control and Identity Verification Apply a broad range of physical, technological, and cyber measures to control admittance to critical locations and systems, limiting access to authorized individuals to carry out legitimate activities.
Cybersecurity Protect against damage to, the unauthorized use of, and/or the exploitation of (and, if needed, the restoration of) electronic communications systems and services (and the information contained therein).
Intelligence and Information Sharing Provide timely, accurate, and actionable information resulting from the planning, direction, collection, exploitation, processing, analysis, production, dissemination, evaluation, and feedback of available information concerning threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of WMDs; or any other matter bearing on U.S. national or homeland security by Federal, State, local, and other stakeholders. Information sharing is the ability to exchange intelligence, information, data, or knowledge among Federal, State, local, or private-sector entities as appropriate.
Interdiction and Disruption Delay, divert, intercept, halt, apprehend, or secure threats and/or hazards.
Physical Protective Measures Reduce or mitigate risks, including actions targeted at threats, vulnerabilities, and/or consequences, by controlling movement and protecting borders, critical infrastructure, and the homeland.
Risk Management for Protection Programs and Activities Identify, assess, and prioritize risks to inform Protection activities and investments.
Screening, Search, and Detection Identify, discover, or locate threats and/or hazards through active and passive surveillance and search procedures. This may include the use of systematic examinations and assessments, sensor technologies, or physical investigation and intelligence.
Supply Chain Integrity and Security Strengthen the security and resilience of the supply chain.

 

Mitigation

Mitigation activities take place prior to, during, and after an incident. Mitigation capabilities are those necessary to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to persons or property, or lessen the actual or potential effects or consequences of an incident. These include:

  • Understanding, recognizing, communicating, planning for, and addressing risks.
  • Building resilient systems, communities, and infrastructure to reduce vulnerability to incidents
  • Identifying, analyzing, and planning for area threats and hazards.

Mitigation Mission Area Capabilities and Preliminary Targets

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Community Resilience Lead the integrated effort to recognize, understand, communicate, plan, and address risks so that the community can develop a set of actions to accomplish Mitigation and improve resilience.
Long-Term Vulnerability Reduction Build and sustain resilient systems, communities, and critical infrastructure and key resources lifelines so as to reduce their vulnerability to natural, technological, and human-caused incidents by lessening the likelihood, severity, and duration of the adverse consequences related to these incidents.
Risk and Disaster Resilience Assessment Assess risk and disaster resilience so that decision makers, responders, and community members can take informed action to reduce their entity’s risk and increase their resilience.
Threats and Hazard Identification Identify the threats and hazards that occur in the geographic area; determine the frequency and magnitude; and incorporate this into analysis and planning processes so as to clearly understand the needs of a community or entity.

 

Mitigation: FEMA Programs

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages. FEMA administers the following HMA grant programs:

  • The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) assists in implementing long-term hazard mitigation measures following Presidential disaster declarations.
  • Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) provides funds for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster.
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) provides funds so that measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) provides funds to reduce the risk of flood damage to individual properties insured under the NFIP that have had one or more claim payments for flood damages.
  • Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) provides funds to reduce the risk of flood damage to residential structures insured under the NFIP that are qualified as severe repetitive loss structures.

For more information on mitigation visit: http://www.fema.gov/what-mitigation

 

Mitigation Strategy

To be successful, mitigation measures must be developed into an overall mitigation strategy that considers ways to reduce consequences together with the overall risk from specific threats and other community goals.

A sound mitigation strategy is based on the following factors:

  • Mitigation measures are intended to protect existing vulnerabilities from becoming more significant based on new development or other changes within the community (e.g., road construction, zoning or building code changes).
  • Natural resource protection measures are used to reduce the consequences of a known hazard and to improve the overall quality of the environment.
  • Emergency protective measures protect people before and after an event occurs.

The mitigation strategy is based on the jurisdiction’s Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA). Additional information about the THIRA process is presented in a later unit.

Developing a Mitigation Strategy

A sound mitigation strategy is one that is based on several factors:

  • Mitigation measures are intended to prevent existing vulnerabilities from becoming more significant based on new development or other changes within the community (e.g., road construction, zoning or building code changes). Mitigation measures can be very effective in areas that have not been developed or are in an early phase of development. By implementing mitigation measures, such as open space preservation and stormwater management, future development can be directed in such a way as to minimize the vulnerability from known hazards while maintaining other community goals and the overall quality of life in the community.
  • Property protection measures are used to modify buildings or their surroundings to reduce the risk of damage from a known hazard. Property protection measures directly protect people and property at risk. They may be simple and relatively low cost (e.g., raising utilities or strapping water heaters) or they may be more elaborate and expensive (e.g., acquiring land and using that land for recreational purposes or building earthquake-resistant structures in earthquake zones).
  • Natural resource protection measures are used to reduce the consequences of a known hazard and to improve the overall quality of the environment. Natural resource protection measures can range from erosion and sediment control to wetlands protection to controlling runoff from farmland sediment into downstream waterways. Emergency protective measures protect people before and after an event occurs and may include:
    • Installing and maintaining warning systems.
    • Ensuring the protection of emergency responders.
    • Protective measures for critical facilities.
    • Maintenance of the public’s health and safety.
  • To be effective, emergency protective measures should be built into the emergency planning process, exercised, and revised to incorporate lessons learned from both exercises and actual incidents. Mitigation measures can be developed and implemented at the local, tribal, or State level.

 

Response

Response begins when an incident is imminent or immediately after an event occurs, and encompasses the activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident. Response capabilities focus on saving lives, protecting property and the environment, and meeting basic human needs. Activities may include:

  • Providing transportation for response priorities, including evacuation of people and animals, and delivery of response resources.
  • Providing fatality management services.
  • Minimizing health and safety threats.
  • Providing life-sustaining services with a focus on hydration, feeding, shelter, and reunifying families.
  • Delivering search and rescue services.
  • Ensuring a safe and secure environment for affected communities.
  • Ensuring timely communications.
  • Providing essential services including emergency power, fuel, access to community staples, and fire and first response services.
  • Providing lifesaving and medical treatment.

Response Mission Area Capabilities and Preliminary Targets

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Critical Transportation Provide transportation (including infrastructure access and accessible transportation services) for response priority objectives, including the evacuation of people and animals, and the delivery of vital response personnel, equipment, and services into the affected areas.
Environmental Response/Health and Safety Ensure the availability of guidance and resources to address all hazards including hazardous materials, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters in support of the responder operations and the affected communities.
Fatality Management Services Provide fatality management services, including body recovery and victim identification, working with State and local authorities to provide temporary mortuary solutions, sharing information with mass care services for the purpose of reunifying family members and caregivers with missing persons/remains, and providing counseling to the bereaved.
Infrastructure Systems Stabilize critical infrastructure functions, minimize health and safety threats, and efficiently restore and revitalize systems and services to support a viable, resilient community.
Mass Care Services Provide life-sustaining services to the affected population with a focus on hydration, feeding, and sheltering to those who have the most need, as well as support for reunifying families.
Mass Search and Rescue Operations Deliver traditional and atypical search and rescue capabilities, including personnel, services, animals, and assets to survivors in need, with the goal of saving the greatest number of endangered lives in the shortest time possible.
On-Scene Security and Protection Ensure a safe and secure environment through law enforcement and related security and protection operations for people and communities located within affected areas and also for all traditional and atypical response personnel engaged in lifesaving and life-sustaining operations.
Operational Communications Ensure the capacity for timely communications in support of security, situational awareness, and operations by any and all means available, among and between affected communities in the impact area and all response forces.
Public and Private Services and Resources Provide essential public and private services and resources to the affected population and surrounding communities, to include emergency power to critical facilities, fuel support for emergency responders, and access to community staples (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks) and fire and other first response services.
Public Health and Medical Services Provide lifesaving medical treatment via emergency medical services and related operations and avoid additional disease and injury by providing targeted public health and medical support and products to all people in need within the affected area.
Situational Assessment Provide all decision makers with decision-relevant information regarding the nature and extent of the hazard, any cascading effects, and the status of the response.

 

Response: Rapid Assessment

One of the first response tasks is to conduct a situation assessment. Local government is responsible for emergency response and for continued assessment of its ability to protect its people and the property within the community. To fulfill this responsibility, responders and local government officials must conduct an immediate rapid assessment of the local situation.

The ability of local governments to perform a rapid assessment within the first few hours after an event is crucial to providing an adequate response for life-threatening situations and imminent hazards.

Coordinated and timely assessments enable local government to:

  • Prioritize response activities.
  • Allocate scarce resources.
  • Request additional assistance from mutual aid partners, as well as the State, quickly and accurately.

 

Response: Obtaining Information

An important part of rapid assessment is obtaining accurate information quickly. Critical information, also called essential elements of information (EEI), includes information about:

Gather information on lifesaving needs including evacuation and search and rescue.

Gather information on critical infrastructure including determining the status of transportation, utilities, communication systems, and fuel and water supplies.

Gather information on critical facilities including determining the status of police and fire stations, medical providers, water and sewage treatment facilities, and media outlets.

Gather information on the risk of damage to the community (e.g., dams and levees, facilities producing or storing hazardous materials) from imminent hazards.

Gather information on the number of individuals who have been displaced because of the event and the estimated extent of damage to their dwellings.

 

Anticipating Cascading Events

Information must also be gathered on cascading events, which are events that occur as a direct or indirect result of an initial event. For example, if a flash flood disrupts electricity to an area and, as a result of the electrical failure, a serious traffic accident involving a hazardous materials spill occurs, the traffic accident is a cascading event. If, as a result of the hazardous materials spill, a neighborhood must be evacuated and a local stream is contaminated, these are also cascading events. Taken together, the effect of cascading events can be crippling to a community.

Good planning, training, and exercising before an event occurs can help reduce cascading events and their effects. Maintaining the discipline to follow the plan during response operations also reduces the effects of cascading events.

 

Recovery

The goal of recovery is to return the community’s systems and activities to normal. Recovery efforts start once an incident has occurred, and some recovery activities may be concurrent with response efforts.

The ability to accelerate the recovery process begins with pre-disaster preparedness including planning and mitigation.

Recovery is more than the restoration of physical structures. It also includes:

  • Returning economic and business activities to a healthy state.
  • Restoring and improving health and social services networks.
  • Implementing housing solutions.
  • Stabilizing critical infrastructure functions.

Recovery Mission Area Capabilities and Preliminary Targets

Planning Conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community as appropriate in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.
Public Information and Warning Deliver coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community through the use of clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard and, as appropriate, the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.
Operational Coordination Establish and maintain a unified and coordinated operational structure and process that appropriately integrates all critical stakeholders and supports the execution of core capabilities.
Economic Recovery Return economic and business activities (including food and agriculture) to a healthy state and develop new business and employment opportunities that result in a sustainable and economically viable community.
Health and Social Services Restore and improve health and social services networks to promote the resilience, independence, health (including behavioral health), and well-being of the whole community.
Housing Implement housing solutions that effectively support the needs of the whole community and contribute to its sustainability and resilience.
Infrastructure Systems Stabilize critical infrastructure functions, minimize health and safety threats, and efficiently restore and revitalize systems and services to support a viable, resilient community.
Natural and Cultural Resources Protect natural and cultural resources and historic properties through appropriate planning, mitigation, response, and recovery actions to preserve, conserve, rehabilitate, and restore them consistent with post-disaster community priorities and best practices and in compliance with appropriate environmental and historical preservation laws and executive orders.

 

Recovery: Assistance

Although recovery is primarily a responsibility of local government, if the emergency or disaster receives a Presidential declaration, a number of assistance programs may be available under the Stafford Act.

  • Public Assistance is for repair of infrastructure, public facilities, and debris removal, and may include repair or replacement of non-Federal roads, public buildings, and bridges and implementation of mitigation measures.
  • Individual Assistance is for damage to residences and businesses or for personal property losses, and may include: grants to individuals and families for temporary housing, repairs, replacement of possessions, and medical and funeral expenses; Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to individuals and businesses; crisis counseling for survivors and responders; legal services; and disaster unemployment benefits.

 

Recovery: Long-Term

Recovery from disaster is unique to each community depending on the amount and kind of damage caused by the disaster and the resources that the community has ready or can get.

Long-term recovery can take months or years because it is a complex process of revitalizing homes, businesses, public infrastructure, and the community’s economy and restoring quality of life.

 

Recovery: Long-Term Recovery Considerations

Long-term recovery considerations include:

  • Keeping people informed and preventing unrealistic expectations.
  • Implementing mitigation measures to ensure against future disaster damage.
  • Conducting donations management,
  • Developing partnerships with business and industry for resources.
  • Considering competing interests of groups involved in the planning process.
  • Identifying environmental issues and public health measures.
  • Identifying the unmet needs of survivors.
  • Implementing mitigation measures while rebuilding bridges, roads, public works, and other parts of the infrastructure.

 

Cross-Cutting Core Capabilities

The following core capabilities apply to all mission areas:

  • Planning
  • Public Information and Warning
  • Operational Coordination

The next section of the lesson will review each of these capabilities.

 

Planning

Planning is a core capability that is required in all five mission areas. It refers to the capability to conduct a systematic process engaging the whole community, as appropriate, in the development of executable strategic, operational, and/or community-based approaches to meet defined objectives.

Planning includes:

  • Having a flexible planning process that builds on existing plans.
  • Conducting training and exercises and taking corrective actions.

The emergency operations plan (EOP) is an important tool for planning and is described in more detail in a later lesson.

 

Planning: Training and Exercises

Training and exercises provide first responders, homeland security officials, emergency management officials, private and nongovernmental partners, and other personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform key tasks required by specific capabilities.

Whenever possible, all personnel should be included in exercises to enable them to practice the job under simulated emergency conditions so that, when an actual incident occurs, they are ready to perform in their new capacities with little or no time lost to training that may delay or detract from the mission.

 

Public Information and Warning

The public information and warning capability addresses:

  • Delivering coordinated, prompt, reliable, and actionable information to the whole community.
  • Using clear, consistent, accessible, and culturally and linguistically appropriate methods to effectively relay information regarding any threat or hazard, as well as the actions being taken and the assistance being made available.

 

Effective Practices: Communicating With the Whole Community

Below are two examples of effective implementation of the public information and warning core capability:

  • Text Telephone (TTY) Alert: Lee County Division of Public Safety, Fort Myers, Florida. The TTY Alert is an emergency warning system for deaf and hard-of-hearing residents. When an emergency occurs, the Lee County Emergency Operations Center sends out an alert to the TTY machines with information about the emergency and information about what to do to every registered TTY user in the county.
  • Management/Industry Partnership: St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. The local emergency management agency offers a telephone hotline system established by the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center in cooperation with 26 petrochemical companies. The system serves as a 24-hour warning system, an emergency information exchange, and a link between the companies and the parish.

Source: Partnerships in Preparedness: A Compendium of Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency, December 1995

 

Effective Practices: Social Media

In July 2012, the small, rural fire and rescue services in Warren County, Virginia, faced many challenges. It all started with a small wildland fire that quickly grew to over 1,300 acres, threatening many homes in the community. At the same time, a severe storm knocked out power to over 3,600 local homes for several days.

The Warren County Fire and Rescue Services employed a popular social media site in the successful delivery of incident updates, storm warnings, and safety messages to over 11,845 people. More than 375 new people became followers of the social media page and checked in on a daily basis. The site is now offering preparedness information and being used to recruit volunteers.

 

Operational Coordination

Operational coordination focuses on establishing and maintaining a unified and coordinated operational structure and process. This capability includes:

  • Establishing and maintaining partnerships to support networking, planning, and coordination.
  • Mobilizing all critical resources and establishing command, control, and coordination structures.
  • Establishing leadership and coordinating with organizations for recovery operations.

A later lesson presents additional information about operational coordination.

 

Operational Coordination: Facilities

As part of preparedness for operational coordination, it is important to identify facilities during a response. Certain facilities are typically designated as part of the emergency planning process, including:

The emergency operations center (EOC) is the central location from which all off-scene activities are coordinated. Senior elected and appointed officials are located at the EOC, as well as personnel supporting critical functions, such as operations, planning, logistics, and finance and administration. The key function of EOC personnel is to ensure that those who are located at the scene have the resources (i.e., personnel, tools, and equipment) they need for the response. In large emergencies and disasters, the EOC also acts as a liaison between local responders and the State. (Note that States operate EOCs as well and can activate them as necessary to support local operations. State EOC personnel report to the Governor and act as a liaison between local and Federal personnel.)

Shelters are used to house survivors. Shelters should be designated before an event occurs, and the public should be aware of shelter locations and transportation routes from their neighborhoods or workplaces to the shelters. In most areas, the American Red Cross operates shelters and coordinates with the local volunteer program manager to ensure that sheltering needs are met.

Distribution centers house the food and emergency supplies that are made available to the public. In most areas the American Red Cross and/or National Guard, together with other local voluntary agencies, coordinate distribution centers.

Storage areas for response equipment, including warehouses, supply yards, and other facilities, should be designated as part of the planning process.

Other facilities may also be designated in advance, based on the jurisdiction’s resources and the areas of the community that are likely to be affected. On-scene facilities such as the Incident Command Post (ICP), Joint Field Offices (JFOs), Fusion Centers (physical locations that are staffed by personnel to gather, analyze and disseminate intelligence information), and Staging Areas typically are not designated in advance because of the requirement for close proximity to the incident site.

 

Lesson Summary

This lesson introduced you to the emergency management key components, including:

  • The five mission areas of emergency management.
  • The core capabilities required to accomplish these mission areas.

In the next lesson, you will learn about the roles of key partners in emergency management.

 

Lesson 4: Emergency Management Roles

Lesson Overview

In Lesson 2, you learned about the importance of involving the whole community in emergency management. This lesson describes each partner’s role in more detail. At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the role of the local emergency manager.
  • Describe how private-sector and nongovernmental organizations participate in emergency management.
  • Describe the tribal role in emergency management.
  • Discuss the State’s role in emergency management.
  • Describe the community member role in emergency management.
  • Discuss the Federal role in major emergencies and disasters.

 

Local Government Role: East Baton Rouge

Narrator: Disasters disrupt people’s lives, making them feel vulnerable and depriving them of the services they rely upon. At a time of crisis, the community turns to its local government for assurance that preparations have been made to manage the incident and that their lives will return to normal as quickly as possible, with a minimum of inconvenience.

Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden: Whenever there is an emergency, the population expects you to step up and be a leader. Now the question is whether or not you want to accept that role. Because when you raise that hand and take that oath of office, you know, I don’t think you ever anticipate that “Wow, this other situation may happen that’s going to necessitate that I do something a little more in depth than what I did in taking that oath.”

Narrator: Mayor Holden’s leadership was tested in August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. When the levees in New Orleans collapsed, 200,000 people moved into Baton Rouge. What happened 3 years later with Hurricane Gustav was even worse.

Jay Grymes, Meteorologist: Probably the biggest, at least in the last few years, would have to be Gustav. Certainly the most impacting tropical event for the Baton Rouge area since 1965’s Betsy. We saw more damage here in Gustav than we did in Andrew, even though maybe on a national scale Andrew is a more noteworthy storm.

Narrator: During a time of crisis, Mayor Holden knew that the people of Baton Rouge expected to hear from him.

Mayor Holden: I think the people expect for you to give them guidance. People expect for you to carry out basic services like fire, police, or EMS. People expect you to deal with flooding if there’s a flood there. People expect you to deal with whatever disaster that has come up in an economical way, making sure they are still able to carry on with their lives, and their businesses as much as they possibly can. But they really look to you to give them some comfort, give them advice, and also do the job to make their lives a lot easier.

Chad Guillot, Assistant Director – Baton Rouge EMS: Public safety has always been a number one priority here in Baton Rouge and that shows from the team that we put together.

Mayor Holden: Whenever it comes down to the police department, people want to be confident that if the lights go out in an area, that they’re still safe.

David Guillory, Assistant Director of Public Works – Baton Rouge: In emergency situations, it’s good to have a close relationship with your city departments so everything can get back to normal as quick as possible.

Mayor Holden: Fire department also, especially if you have electrical lines falling down, they have to work with our Department of Public Works.

David Guillory: The Department of Public Works will maintain the infrastructure so people can move on with their life as they know it, and in emergencies usually you will lose services, and the quicker you can get services back up and running the better for everyone.

Joanne H. Moreau, Director – MOHSEP: You need to look at your private stakeholders, your nonprofit entities, your military personnel, your other partners that—nontraditional kinds of partners, you know, innovative ways to be able to complement limited resources with some outside of what you normally would consider.

Mayor Holden: The business community is looking for ways to make sure they can keep themselves going as well. You know, if there are no utilities, then they have a problem. They’re also concerned about their employees getting to work. So if the employees don’t show up, there’s a problem. Then you have to make sure that we do not do anything that will adversely impact them, so it boils down to a team working together to make sure that we’re still vibrant, because you still have an economy to deal with. And so if the businesses are down, then the bottom line at the end of the month for any city or any parish or any county is going to be your tax revenues are down.

Joanne H. Moreau: It’s really, really important to have the community engaged in the process, because government can’t do everything for everyone.

 

Chief Elected or Appointed Officials

Chief elected or appointed officials must have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities for successful emergency management and response. At times, these roles may require providing direction and guidance to constituents during an incident. On an ongoing basis, elected and appointed officials may be called upon to help shape or modify laws, policies, and budgets to aid preparedness efforts and to improve emergency management and response capabilities.

The mayor, city manager, or county official may also have ultimate responsibility for the activities listed below, depending on State and local statutes. Responsibilities and authorities vary by jurisdiction. These responsibilities are often delegated to the emergency manager if permitted by the statutes.

 

Role of Local Emergency Manager

The majority of emergencies and disasters are local and are handled locally by first responders and emergency managers. The local emergency manager has the responsibility for coordinating emergency management programs and activities, including:

Managing resources before, during, and after a major emergency or disaster.

  • Taking inventory of personnel and material resources to include the private-sector sources that would be available in an emergency.
  • Identifying resource deficiencies and working with appropriate officials on measures to resolve them.
  • Developing and carrying out public awareness and education programs.

Conducting activities related to the key components of emergency management.

  • Coordinating the planning process and working cooperatively with organizations and government agencies.
  • Identifying and analyzing the potential impacts of hazards that threaten the jurisdiction.
  • Conducting threat/hazard and risk assessments.
  • Coordinating a review of all local emergency- and disaster-related authorities and recommending amendments, when necessary.

Coordinating with all partners in the emergency management process, to ensure they:

  • Are aware of potential threats to the community, including establishing a system to alert officials and the public in an emergency or disaster.
  • Participate in mitigation and prevention activities.
  • Plan for emergencies and disasters using an all-hazards approach, including establishing and maintaining networks of expert advisors and damage assessors for all hazards.
  • Operate effectively in emergency situations.
  • Conduct effective recovery operations after a disaster.
  • Are advised and informed about emergency management activities.

 

Local Emergency Manager Coordination

An important part of the local emergency manager’s role is coordinating with all partners in the emergency management system to ensure the whole community is prepared. These partners include:

  • Fire services.
  • Police/law enforcement services.
  • Emergency medical programs.
  • Public works.
  • Volunteers and voluntary organizations.
  • Private and nonprofit sector organizations.
  • Other groups involved in emergency activities.
  • Citizens.

The local emergency manager must devote significant time and energy coordinating with a variety of people and organizations within and outside of the community.

 

Cornerstone of Local Response: Home Rule or Dillon’s Rule

The cornerstone of local response is either Home Rule or Dillon’s Rule. The authority of local government derives from the State government. There are two legal paths by which a State grants authority to a local government to govern its own affairs.

The first is Home Rule authority and the second is Dillon’s Rule. Although a majority of the States use Dillon’s Rule, it should be noted that either authority is derived from State sovereignty as delegated power.

Home Rule is a delegation of power from the State to its sub-units of governments (including counties, municipalities, towns or townships, or villages). That power is limited to specific fields, and subject to constant judicial interpretation. Home Rule creates local autonomy and limits the degree of State influence in local affairs.

Dillon’s Rule is derived from a written decision by Judge John F. Dillon of Iowa in 1868. It is a cornerstone of American municipal law. It maintains that a political subdivision of a State is connected to the State as a child is connected to a parent. Dillon’s Rule is used in interpreting State law when there is a question of whether or not a local government has a certain power.

Dillon’s Rule narrowly defines the power of local governments. As long as there have been incidents, emergencies, and disasters, local responders and communities have been conducting aspects of emergency management. Events impact local emergency managers and their jurisdictions long before anyone else is involved. For large events, surrounding jurisdictions and charities have played a major role in support. President Theodore Roosevelt entrusted the American Red Cross with coordinating relief efforts.

Political jurisdictions and the States have also played a role in supporting activities related to these events when necessary. Historically, as events exceeded the capability of local jurisdictions, charities, and even State governments, national support was requested under separate legislation from Congress.

 

Role of Tribal Leader

The tribal leader is responsible for the public safety and welfare of the people of that tribe. As authorized by tribal government, the tribal leader can:

  • Coordinate tribal resources needed to prevent, protect against, mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents of all types.
  • Amend or suspend certain tribal laws or ordinances associated with response.
  • Communicate with the tribal councils and community, and help people, businesses, and organizations cope with the consequences of any type of incident.
  • Negotiate mutual aid and assistance agreements with other tribes or jurisdictions.
  • Request Federal assistance under the Stafford Act through the Governor of the State or by direct request to the President when it becomes clear that the tribe’s capabilities will be insufficient or have been exceeded.
  • Elect to deal directly with the Federal Government. Federal departments or agencies can work directly with the tribe within existing authorities and resources.

 

Roles of the Whole Community

The following partners play a critical role in emergency management before, during, and after an emergency to ensure an appropriate response.

  • Individual citizens
  • Communities and citizens
  • Voluntary organizations
  • Private industry

These partners must be involved from the start and included in planning to ensure that, when an emergency occurs, everyone understands their role and is ready to contribute without delay.

Individual citizens who can take care of themselves, their families, and their neighbors contribute by freeing up response resources to help those most in need.

Communities and citizens contribute by:

  • Taking the time necessary to understand the types of emergencies that are likely to occur and preparing an emergency kit and emergency plans.
  • Volunteering with an established organization and receiving training before an emergency occurs.
  • Taking direction and responding reasonably to alerts, warnings, and other emergency public information.

Voluntary organizations contribute by:

  • Training and managing volunteer resources.
  • Identifying shelter locations and needed supplies.
  • Providing critical emergency services and supplies to those in need, such as cleaning supplies, clothing, food, and shelter, or assisting with post-emergency cleanup.
  • Identifying those whose needs have not been met and coordinating assistance.

Private industry contributes by:

  • Providing technical assistance on such matters as utilities and engineering.
  • Participating in the development, training, and exercising of emergency plans.
  • Working with emergency management personnel before an emergency occurs to ascertain what assistance may be necessary and how they can help.
  • Providing assistance (including volunteers) to support emergency management during an emergency and throughout the recovery process.

 

Role of State Emergency Management

The State’s role is to supplement and facilitate local efforts before, during, and after emergencies by coordinating and integrating resources and applying them to local needs. The State must be prepared to maintain or accelerate services and to provide new services to local governments when local capabilities fall short of demands. The State:

  • Coordinates with local governments to meet their emergency needs.
  • Assesses available State and Federal resources.
  • Helps local governments with guidance and assistance to apply for, acquire, and use those State and Federal resources effectively.

 

State Roles: Governor

Within the State, the Governor has the following emergency management responsibilities:

  • Issues State or area emergency declarations based on the application and the damage estimates.
  • Initiates State response actions (personnel, materials, etc.).
  • Activates emergency contingency funds and/or reallocates regular budgets for emergency activities.
  • Oversees emergency management.
  • Requests, disburses, and monitors Federal assistance. For State governments, only the Governor can request the Federal aid that comes with a Presidential declaration.

 

State Roles: Emergency Management Agency

The State Emergency Management Agency:

  • Carries out statewide emergency management activities.
  • Helps coordinate emergency management activities involving more than one community.
  • Assists individual communities, when needed.
  • Provides financial assistance on a supplemental basis through a process of application and review.
  • Identifies response and recovery resources to repair critical infrastructure.
  • Dispatches personnel to the scene to assist in the response and recovery effort.
  • Coordinates the State emergency operations plan (EOP).

 

Requesting Federal Assistance

The Federal Government maintains a wide array of capabilities and resources. Perhaps the most widely known authority under which Federal assistance is provided for major incidents is the Stafford Act. In fact, Federal disaster assistance is often thought of as synonymous with Presidential declarations and the Stafford Act.

However, Federal assistance under the Stafford Act is only available when the incident exceeds State, tribal, and local resources. In those circumstances, a Governor (or tribal Chief Executive) may ask the President to declare an emergency or major disaster. Before making a declaration request, the Governor must activate the State’s emergency plan and ensure that all appropriate State and local actions have been taken or initiated. Examples of these actions include surveying the affected areas to determine the extent of private and public damage, and conducting joint Preliminary Damage Assessments with FEMA officials to estimate the types and extent of Federal disaster assistance required.

The Governor’s request is made through the FEMA Regional Administrator and includes:

  • Information on the extent and nature of State resources that have been or will be used;
  • A certification by the Governor that State and local governments will assume all applicable non-Federal costs required by the Stafford Act;
  • An estimate of the types and amounts of supplementary Federal assistance required; and
  • Designation of the State Coordinating Officer.

The FEMA Regional Administrator evaluates the damage and requirements for Federal assistance and makes a recommendation to the FEMA Administrator. The FEMA Administrator, acting through the Secretary of Homeland Security, then recommends a course of action to the President. In extraordinary circumstances, the President may unilaterally make such a declaration to expedite the delivery of lifesaving assistance.

Under the Stafford Act (Title III, 42 USC 5143), following a Presidential declaration, the President appoints a Federal Coordinating Officer to execute Stafford Act authorities. The Federal Coordinating Officer represents the President in the field and uses the structures and process specified in the National Response Framework to manage the response.

While the Stafford Act may be the most familiar mechanism for Federal support, it is not the only one. Often, Federal assistance does not require coordination by the Department of Homeland Security and can be provided without a Presidential emergency or major disaster declaration. In these instances, Federal departments and agencies provide assistance to States, as well as directly to tribes and local jurisdictions, consistent with their own authorities.

 

Role of the Federal Government

The Federal Government promotes the development and sustainment of capabilities across all mission areas. Assistance from the Federal Government may take the form of fiscal support, technical assistance, or information about materials, personnel resources, and research.

The Federal Government provides legislation, Executive orders, and regulations that influence all emergency management activities. It also maintains the largest pool of fiscal resources that can assist in the delivery of capabilities.

 

Role of the President of the United States

As the head of the executive branch of the Federal Government, the President of the United States is responsible for:

  • Protecting the public.
  • Making an emergency and/or disaster declaration upon a Governor’s request before Federal funds are released to aid disaster survivors or provide public assistance.
  • Making a declaration under unique authority in such circumstances as events on Federal property.

 

Federal Government Roles and Responsibilities

When an incident happens, roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined. The National Response Framework includes Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) that describe the roles and responsibilities of Federal departments and agencies for a Federal response to an incident. Each ESF has:

  • Primary Agencies: The NRF identifies primary agencies based on authorities, resources, and capabilities.
  • Support Agencies: Support agencies are assigned based on resources and capabilities in a given functional area.
  • ESF Coordinator: The agency designated as the ESF coordinator has ongoing responsibilities across the prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation mission areas of emergency management for the particular ESF. The ESF coordinating agency is responsible for steady-state planning, preparedness, and other activities.

Emergency Support Functions (ESFs)

ESFs may be selectively activated for both Stafford Act and non-Stafford Act incidents. Not all incidents requiring Federal support result in the activation of ESFs. For Stafford Act incidents, the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) or Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) may activate specific ESFs or other Federal agencies (OFAs) by directing appropriate departments and agencies to initiate the actions delineated in the ESF Annexes.

Resources coordinated though ESFs are assigned where needed within the response structure. For example, if a State requests assistance with a mass evacuation, resources from several different ESFs may be integrated into a single Branch or Group within the Operations Section. During the response, these resources would report to a supervisor within the assigned Branch or Group.

Regardless of where ESFs may be assigned, they coordinate closely with one another to accomplish their missions.

ESF #1: Transportation
ESF Coordinator: Department of Transportation
Key Response Core Capability: Critical Transportation

Coordinates the support of management of transportation systems and infrastructure, the regulation of transportation, management of the Nation’s airspace, and ensuring the safety and security of the national transportation system. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Transportation modes management and control
  • Transportation safety
  • Stabilization and reestablishment of transportation infrastructure
  • Movement restrictions
  • Damage and impact assessment.

 

ESF #2: Communications
ESF Coordinator: DHS/National Communications System
Key Response Core Capability: Operational Communications

Coordinates the reestablishment of the critical communications infrastructure, facilitates the stabilization of systems and applications from cyber attacks, and coordinates communications support to response efforts. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Coordination with telecommunications and information technology industries
  • Reestablishment and repair of telecommunications infrastructure
  • Protection, reestablishment, and sustainment of national cyber and information technology resources
  • Oversight of communications within the Federal response structures

 

ESF #3: Public Works and Engineering
ESF Coordinator: Department of Defense/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Key Response Core Capabilities: Infrastructure Systems, Critical Transportation, Public and Private Services and Resources, Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Fatality Management, Mass Care Services, Mass Search and Rescue Operations

Coordinates the capabilities and resources to facilitate the delivery of services, technical assistance, engineering expertise, construction management, and other support to prepare for, respond to, and/or recover from a disaster or an incident. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Infrastructure protection and emergency repair
  • Critical infrastructure reestablishment
  • Engineering services and construction management
  • Emergency contracting support for lifesaving and life-sustaining services

 

ESF #4: Firefighting
ESF Coordinator: Department of Agriculture/U.S. Forest Service and DHS/FEMA/U.S. Fire Administration
Key Response Core Capabilities: Critical Transportation, Operational Communications, Public and Private Services and Resources, Infrastructure Systems, Mass Care Services, Mass Search and Rescue Operations, On-scene Security and Protection, Public Health and Medical Services

Coordinates the support for the detection and suppression of fires. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Coordination of Federal firefighting activities
  • Support to wildland, rural, and urban firefighting operations

 

ESF #5: Information and Planning
ESF Coordinator: DHS/FEMA
Key Response Core Capabilities: Situational Assessment, Planning, Public Information and Warning

Supports and facilitates multiagency planning and coordination for operations involving incidents requiring Federal coordination. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Incident action planning
  • Information collection, analysis, and dissemination

 

ESF #6: Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services
ESF Coordinator: DHS/FEMA
Key Response Core Capabilities: Mass Care Services, Public and Private Services and Resources, Public Health and Medical Services, Critical Transportation, Fatality Management Services

Coordinates the delivery of mass care and emergency assistance, including:

  • Mass care
  • Emergency assistance
  • Disaster housing
  • Human services

 

ESF #7: Logistics 
ESF Coordinator: General Services Administration and DHS/FEMA
Key Response Core Capabilities: Public and Private Services and Resources, Mass Care Services, Critical Transportation, Infrastructure Systems, Operational Communications

Coordinates comprehensive incident resource planning, management, and sustainment capability to meet the needs of disaster survivors and responders. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Comprehensive, national incident logistics planning, management, and sustainment capability
  • Resource support (facility space, office equipment and supplies, contracting services, etc.)

 

ESF #8: Public Health and Medical Services
ESF Coordinator: Department of Health and Human Services
Key Response Core Capabilities: Public Health and Medical Services, Fatality Management Services, Mass Care Services, Critical Transportation, Public Information and Warning, Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Public and Private Services and Resources

Coordinates the mechanisms for assistance in response to an actual or potential public health and medical disaster or incident. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Public health
  • Medical surge support including patient movement
  • Behavioral health services
  • Mass fatality management

 

ESF #9: Search and Rescue
ESF Coordinator: DHS/FEMA
Key Response Core Capability: Mass Search and Rescue Operations

Coordinates the rapid deployment of search and rescue resources to provide specialized lifesaving assistance. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Structural Collapse (Urban) Search and Rescue
  • Maritime/Coastal/Waterborne Search and Rescue
  • Land Search and Rescue

 

ESF #10: Oil and Hazardous Materials Response
ESF Coordinator: Environmental Protection Agency
Key Response Core Capabilities: Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Critical Transportation, Infrastructure Systems, Public Information and Warning

Coordinates support in response to an actual or potential discharge and/or release of oil or hazardous materials. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental assessment of the nature and extent of oil and hazardous materials contamination
  • Environmental decontamination and cleanup.

 

ESF #11: Agriculture and Natural Resources
ESF Coordinator: Department of Agriculture
Key Response Core Capabilities:  Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Mass Care Services, Public Health and Medical Services, Critical Transportation, Public and Private Services and Resources, Infrastructure Systems

Coordinates a variety of functions designed to protect the Nation’s food supply, respond to plant and animal pest and disease outbreaks, and protect natural and cultural resources. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Nutrition assistance
  • Animal and plant disease and pest response
  • Technical expertise, coordination, and support of animal and agricultural emergency management
  • Meat, poultry, and processed egg products safety and defense
  • Natural and cultural resources and historic properties protection

 

ESF #12: Energy
ESF Coordinator: Department of Energy
Key Response Core Capabilities: Infrastructure Systems, Public and Private Services and Resources, Situational Assessment

Facilitates the reestablishment of damaged energy systems and components and provides technical expertise during an incident involving radiological/nuclear materials. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Energy infrastructure assessment, repair, and reestablishment
  • Energy industry utilities coordination
  • Energy forecast

 

ESF #13: Public Safety and Security
ESF Coordinator: Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Key Response Core Capability: On-scene Security and Protection

Coordinates the integration of public safety and security capabilities and resources to support the full range of incident management activities. Functions include but are not limited to:

  • Facility and resource security
  • Security planning and technical resource assistance
  • Public safety and security support
  • Support to access, traffic, and crowd control

 

ESF #14—Superseded by National Disaster Recovery Framework

 

ESF #15: External Affairs
ESF Coordinator: DHS
Key Response Core Capability: Public Information and Warning

Coordinates the release of accurate, coordinated, timely, and accessible public information to affected audiences, including the government, media, NGOs, and the private sector. Works closely with State and local officials to ensure outreach to the whole community. Functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Public affairs and the Joint Information Center
  • Intergovernmental (local, State, tribal, and territorial) affairs
  • Congressional affairs
  • Private sector outreach
  • Community relations.

 

Federal Government: FEMA’s Role

FEMA takes a lead role in national preparedness for major crises and has a supportive role in partnership with State, tribal, and local emergency management partners.

FEMA:

  • Provides technical and financial assistance to State, tribal, and local governments to upgrade their communications and warning systems.
  • Operates an emergency information and coordination center that provides a central location for the collection and management of disaster and emergency information.
  • Provides information to the President concerning matters of national interest to help with decisions about disaster declarations.

 

Emergency Management Functional Groups

An integrated approach to emergency management is based on solid general management principles and the common theme of protecting life and property.

It provides direction so that participants can begin working together with all of the principals in the network. The structure outlined below should be implemented in local emergency operations centers. This structure should not be confused with the Incident Command Structure that emergency responders use for tactical field operations.

The functional groups are meant to support field operations and not to be involved in tactical decision making. On this team are individuals who have obvious responsibilities in disaster response, as well as others whose roles may appear to be minor but which are, in fact, very important. It is helpful to imagine the working relationships of the team as divided into three broadly defined groups at each governmental level, typical of those that exist in many organizations.

  • Policy Group. This is an informal and flexible grouping of experienced public officials representing State, county, and municipal governments. They meet to develop emergency policies and then, as required by the disaster situation, discuss the economic, political, legal, and social implications of both the threat and the response to determine the best general approach to the situation.

    Members of a policy group can include the Governor, Adjutant General, State Director of Emergency Services, County Manager, etc. The emergency manager serves as the liaison between the policy group and the coordination group.

  • Coordination Group. This group typically consists of the assistants, deputies, and staff of agencies and departments represented in the policy group. The coordination group performs a staff function by coordinating the types and number of personnel and material resources deployed, providing logistical support to field units, contracting for relief of forces, and carefully monitoring both the immediate emergency situation and other threats. The emergency manager is responsible for coordinating the efforts of various agency and department personnel assigned to this group. Typically, the coordination group does not command field-level personnel.
  • Field Response Group. This group includes the fire, law enforcement, medical, military, and public works units that normally would be on the scene of the incident.

 

Lesson Summary

This lesson described the different roles of key partners in emergency management, including:

  • The local emergency manager.
  • The tribal leader.
  • The State.
  • Private-sector and nongovernmental organizations.
  • Community members.
  • The Federal Government.

In the next lesson, you will learn about the importance of developing an emergency operations plan (EOP).

 

Lesson 5: Emergency Operations Plan

Lesson Overview

This lesson presents the planning process and why it is important to develop a comprehensive emergency operations plan (EOP). At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the importance of an emergency operations plan (EOP).
  • Describe the approach to identify and assess threats and hazards.
  • Describe the contents of an EOP.

 

An EOP in Action

It was shortly after 3 a.m. when a railroad official notified the emergency management agency that a train carrying anhydrous ammonia had derailed outside of the city limits. The notification was in accordance with the local emergency operations plan.

Because of the location of the derailment, the plan delegated direction and control to the chairman of the county board of supervisors, who declared a state of emergency in the county.

Employees and volunteers with responsibilities under the plan were swiftly notified and the emergency operations center, or EOC, was activated. Following procedures in the plan, representatives from local fire departments, law enforcement agencies, public works departments, departments of health, and communications departments all deployed to the EOC.

The designated on-scene Incident Commander was the county fire chief. The fire department checked the Material Safety Data Sheet for anhydrous ammonia and discovered that protective gear would be needed for any response personnel at the scene. No one was allowed near the toxic gas cloud until gear was obtained.

A Hazardous Materials Annex to the plan listed sources for protective gear, protective actions that could be taken, and information that should be given to the public. The annex established cleanup of the site as the responsibility of the railroad company, in coordination with the county fire department.

Based on the Warning Annex procedures, warning sirens were activated and shelter-in-place broadcasts told people to close all windows, vents, and other systems that draw air into their homes. Public works employees set up a perimeter a safe distance from the scene that was staffed by police and sheriff’s officers to limit access to the release area.

After the immediate danger passed, the shelter-in-place advisory was lifted and hospitals activated procedures to mobilize extra staff to treat hundreds of people suffering from exposure to the chemical.

This scenario demonstrates the importance of having a plan that clearly defines roles, responsibilities, and functions in an incident to protect lives and property.

 

What Is an EOP and What Does It Do?

An emergency operations plan (EOP) is a key component of an emergency management program that establishes the overall authority, roles, and functions performed during incidents.

An EOP:

  • Assigns responsibility to organizations and individuals.
  • Sets forth lines of authority and organizational relationships and shows how all actions will be coordinated.
  • Describes how people and property are protected.
  • Identifies personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies, and other resources.
  • Identifies steps to address mitigation concerns during response and recovery operations.
  • Is flexible enough for use in all emergencies.
  • Helps personnel and providers operate as a team in an emergency.

 

Local and State EOPs

Local and State governments have EOPs that address preparedness for the public’s emergency needs.

  • The local government EOP focuses on measures that are essential for protecting the public, because the local government is responsible for attending to the public’s emergency needs.
  • The State government EOP establishes the framework within which local EOPs are created and through which the Federal Government becomes involved in response, recovery, and mitigation.

local government EOP typically describes:

  • Warning and communications: How the local government will warn the public of an existing or impending emergency and communicate internally before, during, and after an event occurs.
  • Emergency public information: How government will communicate with the public before, during, and after an emergency occurs. Information on decisions about what to tell the public and when should be provided. This information is critical to ensuring confidence that the government is doing all it can to protect the public and control the situation.
  • Mass care and emergency assistance: Where and for how long the public’s emergency needs, such as shelter and food distribution, will be met. What facilities will be available, what supplies will be stocked, and how the supplies will be distributed are all covered under mass care in the EOP.
  • Health and medical services: How survivors will be cared for, where, and by whom are addressed in the health and medical portion of the EOP. Special issues, such as decontamination, must also be addressed for hazardous materials and terrorist events.
  • Public protection: Plans for in-place sheltering or evacuation. What routes will be used if evacuation becomes necessary, special transportation or routing, and other issues dealing with emergency egress are all part of the evacuation portion of the EOP.

The three main purposes of a State government EOP are to:

  • Facilitate a State response to certain emergencies.
  • Expedite the State in assisting local jurisdictions during major emergencies and disasters in which local response capabilities are overwhelmed.
  • Enable the State to appoint liaisons with the Federal Government in cases where Federal assistance is necessary and authorized.

 

National Planning System

Building blocks of the National Planning System with the following labels starting at the bottom: (1) Individual/Household/Business Plans; (2) Jurisdictional Plans (Mitigation, Emergency Operations, Recovery, COOP); (3) Regional/State/Tribal/Territorial Plans; (4) Federal Interagency Operational Plans; and (5) National Planning Frameworks for Mission AreasLocal and State government EOPs are part of the larger National Planning System. This system integrates nationwide planning efforts by providing a set of interrelated and interdependent guides and processes that:

  • Apply across the whole community and contribute to achieving the National Preparedness Goal.
  • Provide a common and layered approach for synchronized planning at all levels.
  • Establish critical links that span across the five mission areas.

 

Planning Guidance for the Whole Community

The National Planning System includes guidance to support State, territorial, tribal, and local governments and to address the inclusion of individuals, communities, and businesses in planning efforts.

For example, Comprehensive Preparedness Guides (CPGs) provide flexible decision aids, tools, and templates that jurisdictions can use to assist with the development and integration of plans.

At the current time, the following CPGs are available:

 

EOP Planning Principles

Before reviewing each EOP planning step, it is important to understand the following key principles:

Planning must be community based, representing the whole population and its needs. Understanding the composition of the population—such as accounting for people with disabilities, others with access and functional needs, and for the needs of children—must occur from the outset of the planning effort. Another key consideration is the integration of household pets and service animals into the planning process. Many individuals may make decisions on whether to comply with protective action measures based on the jurisdiction’s ability to address the concerns about their household pets and service animals. Establishing a profile of the community will also let planners know if courses of action are feasible. For example, if the majority of the actual resident population does not own cars, then planning efforts must account for greater transportation resource requirements than if the population were predominately composed of car-owning households. The businesses that comprise your jurisdiction must also be a part of your demographics—your jurisdiction may house the only business providing a critical resource to your area or the Nation. By fully understanding the composition and requirements of the actual population (including all segments of the community), community-based plans will lead to improved response and recovery activities and, ultimately, overall preparedness.

Planning must include participation from all stakeholders in the community. Effective planning ensures that the whole community is represented and involved in the planning process. The most realistic and complete plans are prepared by a diverse planning team, including representatives from the jurisdiction’s departments and agencies, civic leaders, businesses, and organizations (e.g., civic, social, faith-based, humanitarian, educational, advocacy, professional) who are able to contribute critical perspectives and/or have a role in executing the plan. The demographics of the community will aid in determining who to involve as the planning team is constructed. Including community leaders representative of the entire community in planning reinforces the expectation that the community members have a shared responsibility and strengthens the public motivation to conduct planning for themselves, their families, and their organizations. For example, it is essential to incorporate individuals with disabilities or specific access and functional needs and individuals with limited English proficiency, as well as the groups and organizations that support these individuals, in all aspects of the planning process. When the plan considers and incorporates the views of the individuals and organizations assigned tasks within it, they are more likely to accept and use the plan.

Planning uses a logical and analytical problem-solving process to help address the complexity and uncertainty inherent in potential hazards and threats. By following a set of logical steps that includes gathering and analyzing information, determining operational objectives, and developing alternative ways to achieve the objectives, planning allows a jurisdiction or regional response structure to work through complex situations. Planning helps a jurisdiction identify the resources at its disposal to perform critical tasks and achieve desired outcomes/target levels of performance. Rather than concentrating on every detail of how to achieve the objective, an effective plan structures thinking and supports insight, creativity, and initiative in the face of an uncertain and fluid environment. While using a prescribed planning process cannot guarantee success, inadequate plans and insufficient planning are proven contributors to failure.

Planning considers all threats and hazards. While the causes of emergencies can vary greatly, many of the effects do not. Planners can address common operational functions in their basic plans instead of having unique plans for every type of threat or hazard. For example, floods, wildfires, hazmat releases, and radiological dispersal devices may lead a jurisdiction to issue an evacuation order and open shelters. Even though each hazard’s characteristics (e.g., speed of onset, size of the affected area) are different, the general tasks for conducting an evacuation and shelter operations are the same. Planning for all threats and hazards ensures that, when addressing emergency functions, planners identify common tasks and those responsible for accomplishing the tasks.

Planning should be flexible enough to address both traditional and catastrophic incidents. Scalable planning solutions are the most likely to be understood and executed properly by the operational personnel who have practice in applying them. Planners can test whether critical plan elements are sufficiently flexible by exercising them against scenarios of varying type and magnitude. In some cases, planners may determine that exceptional policies and approaches are necessary for responding to and recovering from catastrophic incidents. These exceptional planning solutions should be documented within plans, along with clear descriptions of the triggers that indicate they are necessary.

Plans must clearly identify the mission and supporting goals (with desired results). More than any other plan element, the clear definition of the mission and supporting goals (which specify desired results/end-states) enables unity of effort and consistency of purpose among the multiple groups and activities involved in executing the plan. Every other plan element should be designed and evaluated according to its contributions to accomplishing the mission and achieving the goals and desired results.

Planning depicts the anticipated environment for action. This anticipation promotes early understanding and agreement on planning assumptions and risks, as well as the context for interaction. In situations where a specific hazard has not been experienced, planning provides the opportunity to anticipate conditions and systematically identify potential problems and workable solutions. Planners should review existing EOPs to ensure current assumptions are still necessary and valid. After-action reports (AARs) of recent emergency operations and exercises in the jurisdiction will help planners develop a list of lessons learned to address when updating plans.

Planning does not need to start from scratch. Planners should take advantage of the experience of other planners, as well as plans generated by other jurisdictions. Further, many States publish their own standards and guidance for emergency planning, conduct workshops and training courses, and assign their planners to work with local planners. FEMA offers resident, locally presented, and independent study emergency planning courses. FEMA also publishes guidance related to planning for specific functions and risks.

Planning identifies tasks, allocates resources to accomplish those tasks, and establishes accountability. Decision makers must ensure that they provide planners with clearly established priorities and adequate resources; additionally, planners and plan participants should be held accountable for effective planning and execution.

Planning includes senior officials throughout the process to ensure both understanding and approval. Potential planning team members have many day-to-day concerns but must be reminded that emergency planning is a high priority. Senior official buy-in helps the planning process meet requirements of time, planning horizons, simplicity, and level of detail. The more involved decision makers are in planning, the better the planning product will be.

Time, uncertainty, risk, and experience influence planning. These factors define the starting point where planners apply appropriate concepts and methods to create solutions to particular problems. Planning is, therefore, often considered to be both an art and a science in that successful planners are able to draw from both operational experience and an understanding of emergency management principles, but also are intuitive, creative, and have the ability to anticipate the unexpected. While the science and fundamental principles of planning can be learned through training and experience, the art of planning requires an understanding of the dynamic relationships among stakeholders, of special political considerations, and of the complexity imposed by the situation. Because this activity involves judgment and the balancing of competing demands, plans should not be overly detailed—to be followed by the letter—or so general that they provide insufficient direction. Mastering the balance of art and science is the most challenging aspect of becoming a successful planner.

Effective plans tell those with operational responsibilities what to do and why to do it, and they instruct those outside the jurisdiction in how to provide support and what to expect. Plans must clearly communicate to operational personnel and support providers what their roles and responsibilities are and how those complement the activities of others. There should be no ambiguity regarding who is responsible for major tasks. This enables personnel to operate as a productive team more effectively, reducing duplication of effort and enhancing the benefits of collaboration.

Planning is fundamentally a process to manage risk. Risk management is a process by which context is defined, risks are identified and assessed, and courses of action for managing those risks are analyzed, decided upon, and implemented, monitored, and evaluated. As part of the process, planning is a tool that allows for systematic risk management to reduce or eliminate risks in the future.

Planning is one of the key components of preparedness. Plans are continuously evaluated and improved through a cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action.

Source: CPG 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans, Version 2.0

 

Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)

Overall planning begins with the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process. THIRA provides a comprehensive, consistent approach for identifying and assessing risks and associated impacts.

THIRA process steps including: (1) Identify the threats and hazards of concern, (2) Give the threats and hazards context, (3) Establish capability targets, and (4) Apply the results

THIRA expands on existing local, tribal, territorial, and State Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRAs) and other risk methodologies by broadening the factors considered in the process, incorporating the whole community throughout the entire process, and accounting for important community-specific factors.

Step 1: Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern
Identify the threats and hazards of concern based on past experience, forecasting, subject matter expertise, and other available resources.

  • Natural threats and hazards are those resulting from acts of nature, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes and disease outbreaks or epidemics.
  • Technological threats and hazards are those resulting from accidents or the failures of systems and structures, such as hazardous materials spills or dam failures.
  • Human-caused threats and hazards are those resulting from the intentional actions of an adversary, such as a threatened or actual chemical or biological attack or cyber event.

Communities should select threats and hazards of greatest concern based on likelihood of occurrence and significance of effects.

Step 2: Give the Threats and Hazards Context
Using the list of threats and hazards, the next step is to develop context descriptions that show how those threats and hazards may affect the community. To establish context descriptions, consider factors such as time, place, and conditions that would make this threat or hazard more challenging for your jurisdiction. For example:

  • When might a threat/hazard occur (time of day/season) and how would the timing affect the community’s ability to manage it?
  • Where might a threat/hazard occur (populated areas, coastal zones, industrial areas, etc.) and how would the location affect the community’s ability to manage it?
  • What other conditions or circumstances (atmospheric conditions, multiple events) would make the threat or hazard of particular concern?

Step 3: Establish Capability Targets
Next, using the context descriptions, assess each threat and hazard in context to determine what level of capabilities the jurisdiction needs to reach desired outcomes and the overall Preparedness Goal.

The output of this step is a target for each of the core capabilities. Capability targets:

  • Define success for the capability.
  • Are established based on the greatest estimated impact and the desired outcome for each capability.
  • Should be specific and include quantitative descriptions.

Step 4: Apply the Results
The final step is to apply the results of the THIRA by estimating the resources required to meet capability targets. Resource requirements are expressed as a list of resources needed to successfully manage the identified threats and hazards.

Communities also use the THIRA results to enhance preparedness, including:

  • Making decisions about how to allocate limited resources.
  • Considering preparedness activities that may reduce future resource requirements, such as:
  • Identifying mitigation opportunities.
  • Working collaboratively to build, sustain, or deliver capabilities.
  • Developing or updating emergency operations plans.
  • Implementing prevention and protection measures.
  • Engaging the whole community through public awareness.
  • Planning and conducting training and exercises.

 

THIRA Process

THIRA does not replace the need to do comprehensive planning for emergency operations. Rather, the process provides a strategic assessment of threats and hazards along with the capabilities needed to address those risks. THIRA:

  • Engages the whole community in establishing desired outcomes.
  • Focuses on a jurisdiction’s unique threats and hazards.
  • Supports emergency operations planning by establishing capability targets.
  • Provides a basis for identifying resource gaps.
  • Allows for assessment and reporting on preparedness.

The IS-2001: Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) course provides additional information on completing the process.

 

Developing and Maintaining EOPs

The process for developing and maintaining EOPs builds on THIRA results and includes the following steps:

Graphic with arrow with “THIRA Results” merging with the following: EOP Step 1: Form a Collaborative Planning Team; EOP Step 2: Understand the Situation; EOP Step 3: Determine Goals & Objectives; EOP Step 4: Plan Development; EOP Step 5: Plan Preparation, Review & Approval; and EOP Step 6: Plan Implementation & Maintenance

The remainder of this lesson will review these steps.

 

Step 1: Form a Collaborative Planning Team

Experiences and best practices show that planning is most effective when performed by a team. The steps to form a collaborative planning team include:

  • Identifying the core planning team. In most jurisdictions, the emergency manager provides oversight of the planning team, although other government agencies or departments may have overlapping or complementary responsibilities. The involvement of executives from member agencies or departments is critical.
  • Engaging the whole community. Planning that is for the whole community and involves the whole community is crucial to the success of the plan. Effectively involving the community is a challenge, but community leaders provide keen insight into the community’s needs and capabilities.

 

Planning Team Members

When considering who from the community should be on the planning team, think about people with expertise in:

Emergency management and threat/hazard mitigation experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Planning techniques for addressing all threats and hazards.
  • The interaction of the tactical, operational, and strategic response levels.
  • The prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation strategies for the jurisdiction.
  • Existing mitigation, emergency, continuity, and recovery plans.
  • Current and proposed mitigation strategies.
  • Available mitigation funding.

Fire, law enforcement, and emergency services experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Emergency medical treatment requirements for a variety of situations.
  • Treatment facility capabilities.
  • Emergency operations centers and incident command.
  • Fire department procedures, on-scene safety requirements, hazardous materials response requirements, and search-and-rescue techniques.
  • The jurisdiction’s fire-related risks.
  • Police department procedures; on-scene safety requirements; local laws and ordinances; explosive ordnance disposal methods; and specialized response requirements, such as perimeter control and evacuation procedures.
  • Prevention and protection strategies for the jurisdiction.
  • Fusion centers and intelligence and security strategies for the jurisdiction.
  • Specialized personnel and equipment resources.

Public works experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • The jurisdiction’s road and utility infrastructure.
  • Specialized personnel and equipment resources.

Public health and health care experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Records of morbidity and mortality.
  • The jurisdiction’s surge capacity.
  • The medical needs of the community.
  • Historic infectious disease and syndrome surveillance.
  • Infectious disease sampling procedures.
  • Available facilities and resources.
  • The jurisdiction’s health needs and history.

Utility works experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Utility infrastructures.
  • Specialized personnel and equipment resources.

Childcare, child welfare, and juvenile justice experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Available resources.
  • Children with disabilities and other access and functional needs.

Hazardous materials experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Hazardous materials that are produced, stored, or transported in or through the community.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for producing, storing, and transporting hazardous materials and responding to hazardous materials incidents.

Transportation experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • The jurisdiction’s road infrastructure.
  • The area’s transportation resources.
  • The key local transportation providers.
  • Specialized personnel resources.

Agriculture experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • The area’s agricultural sector and associated risks (e.g., fertilizer storage, hay and grain storage, and fertilizer and/or excrement runoff).

Education experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • School facilities.
  • The threats and hazards that directly affect schools.
  • Specialized personnel and equipment resources (e.g., buses).

Social services experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Populations with disabilities and other access and functional needs.

Local Federal asset representatives may contribute knowledge of:

  • Specialized personnel and equipment resources.
  • Facility security and response plans (to be integrated with the jurisdiction’s EOP).
  • Potential threats to or hazards at Federal facilities (e.g., research laboratories, military installations).

Community organizations (civic, social, faith-based, educational, professional, advocacy, and immigrant and limited-English-proficiency organizations) may contribute knowledge of:

  • Specialized resources that can be brought to bear in an emergency.
  • Shelters, feeding centers, and distribution centers.
  • Populations with disabilities and other access and functional needs.
  • Languages spoken and level of English proficiency in the jurisdiction.

Local and regional businesses and corporations experts may contribute knowledge of:

  • Hazardous materials that are produced, stored, and/or transported in or through the community.
  • Facility response plans (to be integrated with the jurisdiction’s EOP).
  • Knowledge about specialized facilities, personnel, and equipment resources that could be used.

Critical infrastructure operators may contribute knowledge of:

  • Critical infrastructure resources and vulnerabilities.

Animal control and care may contribute knowledge of:

  • The special response needs for animals, including livestock.

 

Step 2: Understand the Situation

This step describes important actions and procedures needed to:

  • Identify the threats and hazards in the jurisdiction using the results of THIRA, follow-on assessments, and other existing information about the jurisdiction (for example, data from the local planning and zoning commission, utility providers, the U.S. Census, the chamber of commerce, etc.).
  • Assess the risk associated with those threats and hazards to help the planning team decide which ones merit special attention.

 

Step 3: Determine Goals and Objectives

Goals and objectives must be developed to ensure they support accomplishing the mission of the plan and operational priorities. Goals should clearly indicate the desired result.

  • Goals are broad, general statements that indicate the intended solution to problems identified by planners when identifying threats/hazards and assessing risk in the previous step.
  • Objectives are specific actions that lead to achieving the identified goals of the plan. Objectives will be translated to activities and procedures.

 

Plan Mission: Effectively coordinate and direct available resources to protect the public and property from threats and hazards.

Operational Priority: Protect the public from hurricane weather and storm surge.

Goal: Complete evacuation before arrival of tropical storm winds.

Desired result: All self-evacuees and assisted evacuees are safely outside of the expected impact area prior to impact.

Objective: Complete tourist evacuation 72 hours before arrival of tropical storm winds.

Desired result: Tourist segment of public protected prior to threat or hazard onset, allowing resources to be redirected to accomplishing other objectives in support of this goal or other goals.

 

Step 4: Plan Development and Step 5: Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval

Steps 4 and 5 are the process of developing a plan for your jurisdiction and having it reviewed, approved, and disseminated. A traditional plan has three components: the basic plan, supporting annexes, and threat/hazard/incident-specific annexes.

The following screens present the content and format of a typical EOP.

 

Basic Plan

The basic plan provides an overview of your community’s preparedness and response strategies. It describes expected threats/hazards, outlines roles and responsibilities, and explains how the plan is kept current.

The Introductory Material section typically includes a(n):

  • Promulgation Document/Signature Page that is a signed statement formally recognizing and adopting the plan as the community’s EOP that addresses all threats and hazards.
  • Approval and Implementation section that introduces the plan, outlines its applicability, and indicates it supersedes all previous plans.
  • Record of Changes that contains a change number, date of the change, name of the person who made the change, and a summary of the change.
  • Record of Distribution that indicates the title and name of the person receiving the plan, the agency to which the receiver belongs, the date of delivery, and the number of copies delivered.
  • Table of Contents that outlines the plan’s format, key sections, attachments, charts, etc.

 

The Purpose, Scope, Situation Overview, and Assumptions section explains the plan’s intent, who is involved, and why the plan was developed.

  • Purpose: Describes the purpose for developing and maintaining an EOP.
  • Scope: Describes at what times and under what conditions the plan would be activated.
  • Situation Overview: Provides an overview of the steps taken by the community to prepare for disasters.
  • Planning Assumptions: Identifies what the planning team assumes to be facts for planning purposes.

 

The Concept of Operations section explains what response activities should occur, within what timeframe, and at whose direction. It describes:

  • Who has authority to activate the plan.
  • The process, templates, and individuals involved in issuing a declaration of emergency.
  • How legal questions are resolved.
  • Agency coordination.
  • How plans take into account the needs of children.
  • How plans take into account the physical, programmatic, and communications needs of individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • How plans take into account the needs of household pets and service animals.
  • Other response plans that support the plan.

 

The Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities section describes how the community will be organized to respond to emergencies. It should describe the responsibilities for the following (but not limited to these):

  • Senior elected officials
  • Local departments such as: fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, public health, emergency management, social services, and animal control
  • Communications and public information functions
  • Mass care
  • School officials
  • Private-sector and voluntary organizations

 

The Direction, Control, and Coordination section describes the framework for all direction, control, and coordination activities including who has tactical and operational control of assets and multijurisdictional coordination systems used during an emergency.

 

The Information Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination section describes:

  • Information dissemination methods.
  • Critical information needs and collection priorities.
  • Information collection, analysis, and dissemination strategies.
  • Collaboration with the general public.

 

The Communications section describes:

  • The framework for delivering communication support and communications integration with other networks.
  • Other interoperable communications plans.

 

The Administration, Finance, and Logistics section describes:

  • Documentation of the response to and recovery from a disaster.
  • After-action results to identify strengths and weaknesses in the response program.
  • Finance protocols to recover costs of the emergency operation.
  • Logistics and resource management mechanisms used to identify and acquire resources.

 

The Plan Development and Maintenance section describes the process used to regularly review and update the EOP.

 

The Authorities and References section provides the legal basis for emergency operations and activities, including:

  • Local ordinances and statutes.
  • State laws and administrative code sections.
  • Federal laws, regulations, and standards.
  • Reference manuals used to develop the plan.

 

Supporting Annexes

Supporting annexes include functional, support, emergency phase, or agency-focused annexes. While the basic plan provides overarching information on emergency operations, the supporting annexes describe the policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes for a specific emergency function that can be applied to different threats and hazards.

Each annex focuses on one function that the community has identified as being important during an emergency. The number and type of annexes will vary based on the community’s needs, capabilities, risks, and resources.

 

Recommended Functional Annexes

Some recommended functions to include in the functional annexes are:

Direction, Control, and Coordination. This annex allows the community to analyze the emergency and decide how to respond by directing and coordinating the efforts of the jurisdiction’s response forces and coordinating with the mutual aid partners to use all resources efficiently and effectively.

Communications. This annex focuses on the systems that will be relied on for responders and other emergency personnel to communicate with each other (i.e., not with the public) during emergencies. It describes the total communications system, including backup systems, and provides procedures for its use.

Warning. This annex describes the warning systems in place and the responsibilities and procedures for issuing warnings to the public. All components of the warning system should be described, including contingency plans to ensure that warning information is available to the public and pre-scripted messages for identified threats and hazards.

External Affairs/Emergency Public Information. This annex describes the methods that the community will use to provide information to the public before, during, and after an emergency.

Population Protection. This annex describes the provisions (e.g., for evacuation or in-place sheltering) that have been made to ensure the safety of people affected by the threats and hazards the jurisdiction faces.

Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services. This annex addresses the actions that will be taken to protect evacuees and others from the effects of the event. This annex describes how sheltering, food distribution, medical care, clothing, and other essential life support needs will be provided to those who have been displaced by a threat/hazard. (Note that communities that are at risk from hurricanes should include a discussion of refuges of last resort in this annex.)

Public Health and Medical Services. This annex addresses the activities associated with the provision of health and medical services in emergencies, including emergency medical, hospital, public health, environmental health, mental health, and mortuary services.

Logistics Management and Resource Support. This annex describes existing resources, the identification of probable resource needs, and a description of how additional resources will be acquired and distributed.

 

Hazard-, Threat-, or Incident-Specific Annexes

The hazard-, threat-, or incident-specific annexes should describe emergency response procedures for each threat or hazard that your plan addresses. These annexes focus on the unique planning needs generated by the one threat or hazard and are based on special planning requirements that are not common across all threats.

By developing hazard-, threat-, or incident-specific annexes, planners address the special or unique response considerations related to each threat for which the community is at high risk.

 

Step 6: Plan Implementation and Maintenance

The last step in the planning process is plan implementation and maintenance. Plans must not be placed on a shelf to collect dust; they must be maintained, and the information communicated to:

  • Local, tribal, State, and Federal officials who need to coordinate the plan with their EOPs.
  • Response personnel both inside and outside of the community who share responsibility for implementing the plan, reducing damage, and saving lives.
  • The local community, which has expectations concerning the government’s role in an emergency and, collectively, is critical to the plan’s success.

The best way to communicate the plan to personnel and response agencies that are responsible for implementing it is through training and exercising.

 

Training

Training is critical to response personnel so that they know:

  • What they are supposed to do.
  • When they are to do it.
  • How they are to do it, including procedures for:
    • Accomplishing their task or mission.
    • Coordinating efforts with personnel within and outside of the agency.
    • Communicating needs and status.

Training can include a wide range of activities, from classroom training to on-the-job training to the use of checklists, worksheets, and job aids. The type and duration of the training selected depends on the frequency and complexity of the task to be trained.

 

Exercises

Exercises are critical to a plan’s success and a successful response because they show whether what appears to work on paper actually does work in practice. Exercise types vary by level of realism, complexity, and stress levels.

Exercising will help to:

  • Test and evaluate plans, policies, and procedures.
  • Identify planning weaknesses.
  • Identify resource gaps.
  • Improve interagency coordination and communication.
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of all who play any part in the response.
  • Improve individual performance by providing an opportunity for responders and others to practice their assigned duties.
  • Gain public recognition that the local government has taken steps to protect their safety—and gain the support of public officials who will support the response effort during an emergency.

 

Resources

This lesson provided information on emergency management principles, systems, and programs. Below are links to get more information.

Guidance

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Courses: http://training.fema.gov/

 

Lesson Summary

This lesson introduced you to importance of having an EOP to protect people and property from threats or hazards in your community. You now understand that developing an EOP includes:

  • Involving the whole community in all the planning steps.
  • Identifying the high-risk threats and hazards facing your community.
  • Knowing how an EOP is structured.
  • Identifying the annexes that should be included.

In the next lesson, you will learn about coordinating during an emergency.

 

Lesson 6: Emergency Response Coordination

Lesson Overview

This lesson presents the importance of planning and coordinating resources (including personnel) in support of your community’s EOP. At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Identify how to manage resources before and during an emergency.
  • Describe the benefits of using the Incident Command System (ICS) for emergency response.
  • Describe the interrelationships between ICS and the emergency operations center.

 

Resources

During an incident, getting the right resources to the right place, at the right time, can be a matter of life and death.

Organizational resources such as personnel and equipment provide the basic tools for building and sustaining capabilities.

A standardized resource management process helps jurisdictions to prepare and manage the resources need to deliver the core capabilities.

 

Resource Management

During an incident, getting the right resources, to the right place, at the right time, can be a matter of life and death.

Resources include:

  • Personnel,
  • Equipment,
  • Supplies, and
  • Facilities.

Prior to an incident, resources are inventoried and categorized by kind and type, including their size, capacity, capability, skills, and other characteristics.

Mutual aid partners exchange information about resource assets and needs. Resource readiness and credentialing are maintained through periodic training and exercises.

When an incident occurs, standardized procedures are used to:

  • Identify resource requirements,
  • Order and acquire resources, and
  • Mobilize resources.

The purpose of tracking and reporting is accountability. Resource accountability helps ensure responder safety and effective use of incident resources. As incident objectives are reached, resources may no longer be necessary. At this point, the recovery and demobilization process begins.

Recovery may involve the rehabilitation, replenishment, disposal, or retrograding of resources, while demobilization is the orderly, safe, and efficient return of an incident resource to its original location and status. And finally, any agreed-upon reimbursement is made.

When disaster strikes, we must be able to take full advantage of all available and qualified resources.

 

Resource Management

Organizational resources, like personnel and equipment, provide the basic tools for building and sustaining capabilities. A standardized resource management process helps jurisdictions to prepare and manage the resources needed to deliver the core capabilities.

The resource management process can be separated into two parts: resource management as an element of preparedness and resource management during an incident.

The preparedness activities (resource typing, credentialing, and inventorying) are conducted on a continual basis to help ensure that resources are ready to be mobilized when called to an incident. Resource management during an incident is a finite process, with a distinct beginning and ending specific to the needs of the particular incident.

Additional information is available in the IS-703 NIMS Resource Management course.

 

Resource Inventory

An important part of your community’s planning process is determining how to address risks with available resources. Each responding agency or organization in the community should have personnel rosters, training records, equipment inventories, and other information needed to develop a complete picture of the resources that are available in an emergency.

Springfield Emergency Resource List (Sample)

Resource Type Quantity Available Point of Contact and Phone Number for Activation Cost/Fee for Use Availability Verified (Date) Procedures for Inspection, Pick-up, and Return of Resource
Water 500 Pallets James Smith
249.555.4455
NA 3-6-12 For pick-up, call James to ensure in accessible location in warehouse.
Tarps 50 Mary Valdez
249.555.4488
NA 3-6-12 Inspect regularly to ensure in good condition.
Meals Ready To Eat 1000 Sara Washington
249.555.4499
NA 3-6-12 Inspect expiration date at regular intervals.

 

Obtaining Resources

Planning teams must compare available resources with those anticipated for emergencies, and identify how to make up for any shortfalls. The Resource Management Annex to the EOP directs how resource needs are met during an emergency. Some options for obtaining resources include:

  • Mutual aid agreements/Assistance agreements
  • Memorandums of understanding (MOUs)/ Memorandums of agreement (MOAs)
  • Pre-emergency purchase and storage
  • Standby contracts
  • Private-sector organizations
  • Local military installations
  • State governments
  • Federal Government
  • Donations

Note: Your community cannot assume that having agreements in place guarantees resources. Disasters that affect multiple communities may make resource sharing impossible. Develop contingency plans to deal with situations in which resources from other organizations are not available.

The most common agreements are voluntary agreements to pool resources when any participating community experiences a shortfall for fire, police, and emergency medical services (EMS), but these agreements can be developed for any type of resource. Most emergencies and disasters do not receive Federal disaster declarations. Developing mutual aid agreements and assistance agreements with neighboring jurisdictions can be important to ensuring that adequate resources are available to address an emergency. In any emergency or disaster, mutual aid partners may be able to provide:

  • Emergency personnel.
  • Equipment, such as bulldozers or dump trucks.
  • Communications capability.
  • Overall management strategy and program management.
  • Sandbags.
  • Facilities, such as warehouses or temporary shelters.

Mutual aid and assistance agreements usually are documented in the Resource Management Annex to the EOP.

MOUs/MOAs are usually voluntary agreements to pool resources when any participating community experiences a shortfall.

Pre-emergency purchase and storage of emergency items (e.g., chain saws and other tools, plywood, plastic sheeting, drinking water) has the main advantages of ensuring availability and purchasing items at a lower price, since after an emergency the items may not be available or, if available, the cost will be higher. The main disadvantages are that pre-purchasing ties up funds and the items have to be inventoried, stored, and maintained. Emergency managers and community leaders will have to determine whether the benefits of pre-emergency purchase outweigh the costs. After considering the costs versus the benefits of pre-emergency purchase, many communities opt for standby contracts as a more cost-effective alternative.

Standby contracts become effective only if necessary following an emergency event. They are used for critical equipment and supplies. Typically, standby contracts establish prices as those in effect on the day before the event occurred. The use of standby contracts can help ensure that emergency supplies are available in the quantities needed and at a reasonable price. Advantages of these contracts are that they:

  • Ensure that the resources required will be available within a specified timeframe and at an established price.
  • Eliminate the need for inventory, storage, and maintenance that accompanies pre-emergency purchase.

A potential disadvantage exists with standby contracts if, in the aftermath of an emergency, the local infrastructure is so disrupted that accessing and distributing the contracted materials becomes a logistical nightmare. Additionally, in a widespread emergency, suppliers may be overextended and unable to deliver the supplies as agreed to in the contract.

Private-sector organizations may have specialized expertise and equipment. Often, industrial facilities have their own response personnel and equipment that can be called upon in a general emergency.

Local military installations have a sense of ownership in the community. They also have personnel with specialized training and equipment that can be used in a general emergency. Local governments can develop agreements, similar to mutual aid and assistance agreements, with commanders of local military installations to augment local response capabilities.

State governments have technical and response capabilities that can be requested when local resources are overstretched. Additionally, State governments are members of the Emergency Mutual Aid Compact (EMAC), an agreement with neighboring States to supplement their resources (similar to local mutual aid and assistance agreements).

The Federal Government can provide technical and other emergency assistance when requested by the Governor of the affected State if the President declares the area a major emergency or disaster. When an emergency or disaster declaration occurs, Federal departments and agencies provide full and prompt cooperation, resources, and support consistent with their authorities.

Donations may be of two types:

  • Solicited Donations: During some types of emergencies, it may be possible to solicit donations of needed supplies from suppliers or directly from the public. Typically, solicited donations involve items such as four-wheel-drive transportation following a blizzard or boats following a flood. However, soliciting other types of donations, such as emergency supplies, can cause major problems.
  • Unsolicited Donations: After-action reports are full of challenges relating to unsolicited donations that arrive at a disaster site in trailers filled with unsorted, unneeded goods. Even in communities that have an established mechanism for dealing with donated goods, unsolicited donations create huge logistical problems. Most communities, therefore, prefer to request cash instead of goods.

 

Resource Credentialing and Typing

Building and sustaining capabilities is dependent on having a common approach and language across mission areas for:

  • Credentialing: The credentialing process entails the objective evaluation and documentation of an individual’s current certification, license, or degree; training and experience; and competence or proficiency to meet nationally accepted standards, provide particular services and/or functions, or perform specific tasks under specific conditions during an incident.
  • Resource Typing: Resource typing is categorizing, by capability, the resources requested, deployed, and used in incidents. Measurable standards identifying resource capabilities and performance levels serve as the basis for categories. Resource users at all levels use these standards to identify and inventory resources.

Credentialing and typing resources allows jurisdictions to inventory resources and share them through mutual aid agreements.

 

Incident Command System: Promoting Response Partnerships

Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms—a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, or an act of terrorism. An incident can build over days or weeks, or hit suddenly, without warning.

A poorly managed incident response can undermine our safety and well-being. With so much at stake, we must effectively manage our response efforts.

Although most incidents are handled locally, partnerships among local, tribal, State, and Federal agencies as well as nongovernmental and private-sector organizations may be required.

As partners, we must respond together in a seamless, coordinated fashion.

The Incident Command System, or ICS, helps ensure integration of our response efforts. ICS is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards approach to incident management. ICS allows all responders to adopt an integrated organizational structure that matches the complexities and demands of the incident while respecting agency and jurisdictional authorities. Although ICS promotes standardization, it is not without needed flexibility. For example, the ICS organizational structure can expand or contract to meet incident needs.

In this part of the lesson, you’ll learn about ICS features and the important role of ICS in emergency response coordination.

 

Incident Command System

An important function of an emergency operations plan (EOP) is ensuring a coordinated response to various events from a number of different governmental, private-sector, and volunteer organizations using the Incident Command System (ICS).

ICS is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management system. It allows users to adopt an integrated organizational structure to match the complexities and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.

 

ICS Defined

ICS is:

  • An emergency management model for command, management, and coordination of a response operation.
  • Based on features and principles that have been successful in managing a wide range of emergencies, from wildfires to terrorism.
  • Used for planned events, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism.
  • A common organizational structure that enables effective, efficient incident management.
  • Usually described in the Direction and Control Annex of the EOP.

 

Managing Responders with ICS

In an emergency, responders may not have worked with their supervisors before. ICS helps them function as part of a larger system by providing a standardized structure that can pull the many parts of the on-scene response together. ICS ensures:

  • The safety of responders and others.
  • Achievement of tactical objectives.
  • Efficient usage of resources.

An ICS organization can be made up of many different players, such as fire, police, and medical personnel, community and State officials, the private sector, and voluntary organizations.

ICS has 14 basic features and principles, which are described on the following screens.

 

ICS Feature: Common Terminology

ICS uses a common terminology as its base. This allows anyone from any part of the country to communicate effectively within an ICS system. Common terms for functions, actions, and personnel prevent confusion. Using common terminology helps to define:

  • Organizational functions.
  • Incident facilities.
  • Resource descriptions.
  • Position titles.

It is important (and required by NIMS) to use plain English during an incident response because ambiguous codes and acronyms have proven to be major obstacles in communications. Codes and terminology have different meanings when used by different agencies. When these agency codes and acronyms are used on an incident, confusion is often the result.

 

ICS Feature: Modular Organization

The ICS organizational structure:

  • Develops in a top-down, modular fashion that is based on the size and complexity of the incident.
  • Is determined based on the incident objectives and resource requirements. Only those functions or positions necessary for a particular incident are filled.
  • Expands and contracts in a flexible manner. When needed, separate functional elements may be established.
  • Requires that each element have a person in charge.

 

ICS Feature: Management by Objectives

Management by objectives ensures that everyone within the ICS organization has a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished based on the priorities of:

  1. Life safety
  2. Incident stabilization
  3. Property preservation

 

ICS Feature: Incident Action Planning

Every incident must have an Incident Action Plan (IAP) that:

  • Specifies the incident objectives.
  • States the activities to be completed.
  • Covers a specified timeframe, called an operational period.
  • May be oral or written—except for hazardous materials incidents, which require a written IAP.

 

ICS Features: Command

ICS includes several command features:

  • Establishment and Transfer of Command: The command function must be clearly established from the beginning of incident operations, with a process for effectively transferring command.
  • Chain of Command and Unity of Command: Together, these principles help to clarify reporting relationships and eliminate the confusion caused by multiple, conflicting directives. Incident managers at all levels must be able to control the actions of all personnel under their supervision.
  • Unified Command: Allows agencies with different legal, geographic, and functional authorities and responsibilities to work together effectively.

Establishment and Transfer of Command: The agency with primary jurisdictional authority over the incident designates the individual at the scene responsible for establishing command. When command is transferred, moving responsibility for incident command from one Incident Commander to another, the process must include a briefing that captures all essential information for continuing safe and effective operations. Reasons for transfer of command include:

  • A more qualified person assumes command.
  • The incident situation changes over time, resulting in a legal requirement to change command.
  • Normal turnover of personnel based on time.
  • The incident response is concluded and responsibility is transferred to the home agency.

Chain of Command and Unity of Command

  • Chain of command is an orderly line of authority within the ranks of the incident management organization.
  • Unity of command means that personnel report to only one ICS supervisor who gives them their work assignments.

The Unified Command structure:

  • Enables all responsible agencies to manage an incident together by establishing a common set of incident objectives and strategies.
  • Allows Incident Commanders to make joint decisions by establishing a single command structure.
  • Maintains unity of command. Each employee reports to only one supervisor.

 

ICS Feature: Manageable Span of Control

Manageable span of control is key to effective and efficient incident management. Supervisors must be able to effectively manage, supervise, and control their subordinates, as well as communicate with and manage all resources under their supervision. For any supervisor, span of control:

  • Should range from three and seven subordinates.
  • Optimally does not exceed five subordinates.

The ICS modular organization can be expanded or contracted to maintain an optimal span of control.

 

ICS Feature: Incident Facilities and Locations

ICS uses pre-designated incident locations and facilities, established by the Incident Commander based on the requirements and complexity of the incident. Various operational locations and support facilities are established near an incident to accomplish a variety of purposes, such as decontamination, donated goods processing, mass care, and evacuation. Facilities may include:

  • Incident Command Post (ICP): The field location at which the primary tactical-level on-scene incident command functions are performed.
  • Base: The location at which primary logistics functions for an incident are coordinated and administered. There is only one Base per incident.
  • Staging Area(s): Location(s) where resources can be placed while awaiting a tactical assignment.
  • Camp: A geographical site, within the general incident area, separate from the incident area, equipped and staffed to provide sleeping, food, water, and sanitary services to incident personnel.

 

ICS Feature: Comprehensive Resource Management

Comprehensive resource management emphasizes the importance of managing resources (personnel, teams, equipment, supplies, and facilities) during an incident. Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date picture of resource utilization is a critical component of incident management. Resource management includes processes for:

  • Categorizing resources.
  • Ordering resources.
  • Dispatching resources.
  • Tracking resources.
  • Recovering resources.
  • Reimbursement for resources, as appropriate.

 

ICS Feature: Information and Intelligence Management

It is important that the incident management organization establishes a process for gathering, sharing, and managing incident-related information and intelligence.

Intelligence includes operational information that comes from a variety of different sources, such as:

  • Risk assessments.
  • Medical intelligence (i.e., surveillance).
  • Weather information.
  • Geospatial data.
  • Structural designs.
  • Toxic contaminant levels.
  • Utilities and public works data.

 

ICS Feature: Integrated Communications

Incident communications are facilitated through the development of a common communications plan and interoperable communications processes and architectures. It is important to develop an integrated voice and data communications system before an incident. Resources to consider include:

  • Radio systems and frequencies.
  • Telephone systems.
  • Computers.
  • Message runners, coding, and signaling.

 

ICS Feature: Accountability

Effective accountability during incident operations is essential. Individuals must abide by their agency policies and guidelines and any applicable local, State, or Federal rules and regulations.

The following principles must be adhered to:

Check-In/Check-Out. All responders must report in to receive an assignment in accordance with the procedures established by the Incident Commander.
Incident Action Plan Response operations must be coordinated as outlined in the IAP.
Unity of Command Each individual will be assigned to only one supervisor.
Span of Control Supervisors must be able to supervise and control their subordinates and communicate with and manage all resources under their supervision.
Resource Tracking Supervisors must record and report resource status changes as they occur.

 

 

ICS Feature: Dispatch/Deployment

Dispatch/deployment focuses on the importance of managing resources to adjust to changing conditions.

At any incident:

  • The situation must be assessed and the response planned.
  • Managing resources safely and effectively is the most important consideration.
  • Personnel and equipment should respond only when requested or when dispatched by an appropriate authority.

 

Multiagency Coordination

Multiagency coordination is a process that allows all levels of government and all disciplines to work together more efficiently and effectively. Multiagency coordination can occur across the different disciplines involved in incident management, across jurisdictional lines, or across levels of government. Multiagency coordination occurs on a regular basis whenever personnel from different agencies interact.

Often, cooperating agencies develop a Multiagency Coordination System (MACS) to better define how they will work together and to work together more efficiently; however, multiagency coordination can take place without established protocols. MACS may be put in motion regardless of the location, personnel titles, or organizational structure.

 

MACS

MACS provides support, coordination, and assistance with policy-level decisions to the ICS structure managing an incident, and should be both flexible and scalable to be efficient and effective. MACS defines business practices, standard operating procedures, processes, and protocols by which participating agencies will coordinate their interactions. The key functions of MACS are:

  • Situation assessment.
  • Incident priority determination.
  • Critical resource planning, acquisition, allocation, and coordination.
  • Interagency activities.
  • Coordination.

Integral elements of MACS are dispatch procedures and protocols, the incident command structure, and the coordination and support activities taking place within an activated emergency operations center.

 

Emergency Operations Center

One of the several systems that support a MACS is an emergency operations center (EOC). An EOC is a central location where agency representatives can coordinate and make decisions when managing an emergency response.

The EOP designates the facility that serves as the EOC during an incident. Specifying an EOC allows decision makers to operate in one place to coordinate and communicate with support staff.

 

EOC Organization

The EOC can be organized around:

  • The Emergency Support Function (ESF) structure: Organizing by operations management, operations, planning, logistics, and finance/administration functions.
  • The major management activities structure: Organizing by the functional groups of policy, resource, operations, and coordination.
  • The Incident Command System (ICS): Organizing by the functional groups of EOC Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance/Administration.
  • A MAC Group: Organizing by representatives who are authorized to commit agency resources and funds with a Coordinator (optional), Situation Assessment Unit, Resource Status Information Unit, and Joint Information Center (JIC).

Emergency Support Function (ESF) Structure:

  • Advantages include: good coordination with ICS organizations and one-to-one relationship with the National Response Framework.
  • Disadvantages include: the local ESFs may not correspond to Federal ESFs and do not correspond to ICS positions; requires an enormous amount of training to ensure duties can be performed.

Major Management Activities Structure:

  • Advantages include: a relatively simple organization and straightforward lines of communication and command.
  • Disadvantages include: unclear linkages with the ICS organization and confusion around who orders resources.

ICS Structure:

  • Advantages include: clarity of roles and possible easing of workload for incident and dispatch staff.
  • Disadvantage is a potential for confusion about command authority at the scene versus in the EOC.

MAC Group Structure:

  • Advantage is that it is useful when a mechanism for short-term multiagency coordination is needed.
  • Disadvantages include: lack of clearly defined relationships to other MAC entities and lack of an implementation staff.

 

EOC Location

The EOC should be located away from vulnerable, high-risk areas but accessible to the local officials who will use it. The advantages of a single EOC location include:

  • A single, recognizable focal point for emergency or disaster management.
  • Efficiency because calls for assistance can be made to a single location where key officials can meet, make decisions, and coordinate activities.
  • Centralized priority setting, decision making, and resource coordination.
  • Simplified long-term operation.
  • Increased continuity.
  • Better access to all available information.
  • Easier verification of information.
  • Easier identification and deployment of available resources.

 

Emergency Operations Center – Resource Management

Managing resources is an importance role of the EOC. As resource shortages occur, the resource management staff at the EOC receives reports of any needs that cannot be met with an agency’s resources. The resource management staff gathers essential information before trying to fulfill the needs.

This information includes:

  • What is needed.
  • How it will be used.
  • How much is needed.
  • Who needs it.
  • Where it is needed.
  • When it is needed.

Note: This information should be as specific as possible because a different item might work as well or better and be readily available.

 

Interfacing With Other Plans

Another consideration for emergency management is interfacing the EOP with other plans. Many areas employ professionals to develop and maintain comprehensive plans for their areas. A comprehensive plan includes a study of the traffic and transportation characteristics, population, economy and sociology, and the physical features of the community.

Emergency plans and comprehensive plans have obvious overlaps. While there is a mitigation component in local emergency management programs, comprehensive plans also address mitigation.

Communities can incorporate emergency management policies and goals into the local planning process through regulations and policies that support structural and nonstructural mitigation measures. A close working relationship between emergency planning and comprehensive planning strengthens both programs.

 

Hazardous Materials Planning Requirements

One critical area of interface between the EOP and other plans is planning requirements for hazardous materials (HazMat). HazMat regulations require that all incidents involving hazardous materials or hazardous waste be managed using ICS. Below are HazMat regulations and what each regulation covers.

HazMat Regulation HazMat Requirement Covered by the Regulation
Department of Transportation (DOT) 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Transport and storage of hazardous materials, including placard requirements

Cleanup and disposal of hazardous materials

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR Hazard communication under SARA Title III
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 40 CFR Cleanup and disposal of hazardous waste

If you are unfamiliar with planning requirements related to hazardous materials or hazardous waste, consult with your HazMat officers, Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), or State emergency management agency to ensure that your local EOP meets the requirements for hazardous materials and hazardous waste response.

 

Lesson Summary

This lesson introduced you to the following key concepts related to emergency response coordination:

  • Standardized resource management systems help ensure that the needed resources will be available.
  • Resources are obtained through many sources including mutual aid and assistance agreements.
  • The Incident Command System features provide a standard way of managing on-scene tactical operations.
  • Multiagency Coordination Systems support the on-scene response and provide policy guidance.

In the next lesson, you will learn about the functions performed by an emergency management program.

 

Lesson 7: Emergency Management Program Functions

Lesson Overview

This lesson presents the functions of an emergency management program. At the completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the role of local laws in establishing emergency management authorities and responsibilities.
  • Describe the emergency management core functions performed during emergencies.
  • Describe the emergency management program functions performed on a day-to-day basis.
  • Distinguish between core functions and program functions.
  • Identify emergency management activities for specific situations and roles.
  • Identify emergency management principles to apply to a scenario.

 

Emergency Management Functions Basis in Local Law

Specific areas of authority and responsibilities for emergency management should be clearly stated in local ordinances and laws. These ordinances and laws should:

  • Spell out who has responsibility for emergency management daily operations, policy decisions affecting long-term emergency management, and final authority in actual disaster situations.
  • Provide for a specific line of succession for elected officials and require that departments of government establish lines of succession. This ensures continuity of government and leadership in an emergency.
  • Define and delineate responsibilities, scopes of authority, and standards for the position of emergency program manager for an all-hazards integrated local emergency plan, and for mutual support.

 

Types of Emergency Management Functions

This lesson reviews two ways to categorize emergency management activities, based on functions that are performed during emergencies and functions that occur on a day-to-day basis.

Image 1: Cars driving in stormy weather with the caption “Emergency Management Core Functions (during emergencies)”; Image 2: A group of planners meeting with the caption “Emergency Management Program Functions (day-to-day)”

 

Emergency Management Core Functions

Most emergency operations plans include functional annexes for the following core functions implemented during an emergency:

  • Direction, control, and coordination
  • Communications
  • Warning
  • External affairs/Emergency public information
  • Population protection
  • Mass care, emergency assistance, housing, and human services
  • Public health and medical services
  • Logistics management and resource support

Direction, Control, and Coordination. Ensures the jurisdiction’s responders can coordinate with mutual aid partners to use all resources efficiently and effectively.

Communications. Includes the systems and procedures that responders and other emergency personnel use to communicate with each other (i.e., not with the public) during emergencies.

Warning. Ensures that warning information is available to the public and pre-scripted messages have been prepared for identified threats and hazards.

External Affairs/Emergency Public Information. Includes providing information to the whole community before, during, and after an emergency.

Population Protection. Includes provisions (e.g., for evacuation or in-place sheltering) for ensuring the safety of people threatened by the threats and hazards.

Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services. Includes actions taken to protect evacuees and others from the effects of the event. Includes sheltering, food distribution, medical care, clothing, and other essential life support needs of those who have been displaced by a threat/hazard.

Public Health and Medical Services. Provides health and medical services in emergencies, including emergency medical, hospital, public health, environmental health, mental health, and mortuary services.

Logistics Management and Resource Support. Includes procedures for identification of probable resource needs, and a description of how additional resources will be acquired and distributed.

 

Day-to-Day Program Functions

In addition to the emergency core functions, the emergency manager directs the day-to-day emergency management program. Common program functions include:

Laws and Authorities: The jurisdiction has a legal basis for the establishment of the emergency management organization, the implementation of an emergency management program, and continuity of government within its local law/ordinance. This legal basis is consistent with State statutes concerning emergency management.

Threat and Hazard Analysis: The jurisdiction has a method for identifying and evaluating natural, technological, and human-caused threats within its jurisdiction. In addition, the jurisdiction establishes capability targets and identifies gaps.

Planning: The jurisdiction has developed plans for building and sustaining capabilities through its comprehensive mitigation plan, emergency operations plan, and other planning documents.

Operations and Procedures: The jurisdiction has procedures for conducting needs and damage assessments, requesting disaster assistance, and conducting a range of response functions.

Communication and Population Warning: The jurisdiction has the communications system capabilities needed to reach the whole community. Note: This function allows jurisdictions to issue warnings before and during an emergency.

Direction and Control: The jurisdiction develops and tests the EOC operating procedures annually. Note: This function enables jurisdictions to direct, control, and coordinate during an emergency.

Resource Management: The jurisdiction has the human resources required to carry out assigned day-to-day responsibilities. Note: This function enables effective resource management during an emergency.

Hazard Mitigation: The jurisdiction has a program in place to eliminate hazards that constitute a significant threat, or reduce the effects of hazards that cannot be eliminated.

Logistics and Facilities: The jurisdiction EOC has the capabilities to sustain emergency operations for the duration of the emergency, and the jurisdiction has developed logistics management and operations plans. The jurisdiction has worked with its community partners to identify facilities as potential sites for feeding, shelter, and commodity distribution.

Training: The jurisdiction conducts an annual training needs assessment, incorporating courses from various sources and providing/offering training to all personnel with assigned emergency management responsibilities.

Exercises, Evaluation, and Corrective Actions: The jurisdiction has an emergency management exercise program, exercises the EOP on an annual basis, and incorporates an evaluation component and corrective action program.

Public Information and Education: The jurisdiction has an emergency preparedness public education program, procedures are established for disseminating and managing emergency public information in a disaster, and procedures are developed for establishing and operating a Joint Information Center (JIC). Note: This day-to-day function enables jurisdictions to implement emergency public information during an incident.

Finance and Administration: The jurisdiction has an administrative system for supporting day-to-day and emergency operations.

 

Emergency Management Functions in Action

Let’s return to the train derailment scenario from an earlier lesson.

Remember, a train carrying anhydrous ammonia derailed outside of the city limits at 3:00 a.m. The chairperson of the county board of supervisors declared a state of emergency, activating the EOP. The local EOP includes the county and all incorporated towns and cities within the county. There are mutual aid agreements with surrounding counties.

The EOC opened, and policymakers gathered to direct the response. Warning sirens alerted the community, along with messages broadcast using traditional and social media.

There were some delays in activating responders, who could not enter the accident vicinity without proper gear as specified in the EOP annex. To reduce exposure, residents first sheltered in their homes. Eventually, officials ordered 21 homes evacuated. One resident perished while attempting to leave the area. Local nongovernmental organizations provided shelter to those evacuated.

Responders and railroad personnel had conducted a recent joint exercise, which helped to reduce many potential communication problems. The jurisdiction’s public information officer coordinated the release of information about the status of the incident. And information was released on the steps for treating exposure symptoms, cleaning homes, and dealing with exposed pets and livestock.

Transportation and cleanup of hazardous materials is federally regulated. As Federal officials arrived at the scene, they coordinated with the local EOC. The State Health Department is continuing to monitoring air and water quality in the area.

As the recovery process begins, the railroad and government officials will determine liability for costs. At a future date, all involved parties will conduct an after-action review to identify the lessons learned and be better prepared for the future.

 

Emergency Management Program Functions

Scroll down through this table to see how the emergency management program functions applied to managing the train derailment.

Function Application to Train Derailment Scenario
Laws and Authorities The transportation of hazardous materials is federally regulated, so Federal regulations affect the local response. The State Health Department is continuing to monitoring air and water quality in the area.
Threat and Hazard Analysis Transportation of hazardous materials close to population centers causes risk of releases. The EOP should have an annex dealing with hazardous materials.
Planning A single plan that tied together county and city responders avoided conflicts due to competing emergency plans.
Operations and Procedures Each department listed in the plan was notified, and alerted its employees and volunteers.
Communication and Population Warning Warning sirens alerted the community, along with messages broadcast using traditional and social media.
Direction and Control Policymakers gathered in the EOC to establish the overall direction of the response. As Federal officials arrived at the scene, they coordinated with the local EOC.
Resource Management There were some delays activating responders, who could not enter the accident vicinity without proper gear as specified in the EOP annex.
Hazard Mitigation The jurisdiction may want to consider zoning changes. The railroad company should implement additional protective measures.
Logistics and Facilities The EOC was activated. Local nongovernmental organizations provided shelter to those evacuated.
Training Local responders had received training in dealing with hazardous materials releases.
Exercises, Evaluations, and Corrective Actions Responders and railroad personnel had conducted a recent joint exercise helping to reduce many of potential communication problems. At a future date, all involved parties will conduct an after-action review to identify the lessons learned and be better prepared for the future.
Public Education and Information The jurisdiction’s public information officer coordinated the release of information about the status of the incident. Information was released on the steps for treating exposure symptoms, cleaning homes, and dealing with exposed pets and livestock.
Finance and Administration As the recovery process begins, the railroad and government officials will determine liability for costs. The emergency management agency should maintain records of expenses for possible compensation by the railroad.

 

A Joint Effort

An integrated approach to emergency management is based on solid general management principles and building partnerships with the community to protect life and property.

For an integrated system, local, State, tribal, and Federal governments, as well as private-sector agencies and individuals and families, must share responsibility for applying resources effectively at every stage and phase of emergency management.

While every part of the system has its own role and function, responsibility is shared among all. A joint effort results in a product that reflects the insights, experiences, and skills of the entire team.

 

Lesson Summary

This lesson introduced you to the different types of functions performed for emergency management, including:

  • Core functions performed during emergencies.
  • Program functions performed on a day-to-day basis.

You also analyzed situations and described the application of emergency management principles.

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