Stated in another way, emergency management is the continuous process by which all individuals, agencies, and levels of government manage hazards in an effort to avoid or reduce the impact of disasters resulting from the hazards. Incorporating lessons learned from exercises and actual events to improve the level of preparedness. Response – In the response phase, governments take direct action to save lives, protect property, care for victims, and mitigate the amount of damage.
Recovery – Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment, and the repair of other essential infrastructure. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a hazard mitigation assessment and planning process for local officials to use to conduct hazard assessments and create plans for mitigating the hazards. Mitigation of transportation infrastructure may occur under the oversight of the State DOT, depending on the State and the type of infrastructure. The State DOT responsibility is to identify hazards and threats facing the State's transportation infrastructure.
States plan to support local government response efforts because initial response occurs at the local level and local governments do not have extensive resources to support response operations.
Once the plans are developed, individuals and teams need to be trained to execute the various aspects of the plan. Exercises are controlled activities conducted under realistic conditions to provide an opportunity to test one or more parts of response plans. Information is collected during and following actual response operations and exercises to determine how well the plan worked and what future training may be needed. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is an organizational system of positions, interactions, language, and processes that already exists and is well understood by the emergency management community at the local, State and Federal levels.
The NRF is comprised of two integrated parts: a printed core component and an on-line component. Key concept is that the NRF is always in effect and operational elements can be partially or fully implemented.
It is not always obvious at the outset whether a seemingly minor event might be the initial phase of a larger, rapidly growing threat.
The Framework provides the coordinating mechanism for sharing information, ensuring rapid assessment and seamlessly integrating Federal support. States coordinate resources and capabilities and obtain support from other States and the Federal government. Is responsible for coordinating State resources and providing the strategic guidance needed to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents of all types. May be able to make, amend, or suspend certain orders or regulations in support of the response. Communicates to the public and helps people, businesses, and organizations cope with the consequences of any type of incident. Coordinates assistance from other states through interstate mutual aid and assistance compacts, such as the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Requests Federal assistance including, if appropriate, a Stafford Act Presidential declaration of an emergency or disaster, when it becomes clear that state capabilities will be insufficient or have been exceeded.
Coordinates with impacted tribal nations within the state and initiates requests for a Stafford Act Presidential declaration on behalf of an impacted tribe when appropriate. The local incident command structure directs on-scene emergency management activities and maintains command and control of on-scene incident operations. The State EOC is the central location from which State-supported off-scene activities are coordinated. Elected and appointed state officials are located at the State EOC, as well as personnel supporting core functions.
A key function of the State EOC is to ensure that those who are located at the scene have resources required for the response. State and tribal officials typically take the lead to communicate public information regarding incidents occurring in their jurisdictions. Communication lines with the media are open, questions receive prompt responses, and false rumors are refuted before they spread. Information about where to receive help is communicated directly to victims and victims' families.


NRF implements Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act provisions with regard to key Federal incident response leadership positions. Federal departments and agencies play primary, coordinating, and support roles based on authorities and resources, and the nature of the threat or incident.
The private sector supports community response, organizes business to ensure resiliency, and protects and restores critical infrastructure and commercial activity. At the Federal level Emergency Support Function 1, Transportation, is NOT the primary agency responsible for the movement of goods, equipment, animals or people.
Together the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF) have a common goal – the efficient management of incidents and use of resources.
Be used in response to all types of incidents, hazards and emergencies regardless of cause, size, location or complexity. Improve coordination and cooperation between public and private entities in a variety of incident management activities. In other words, the NIMS is intended make sure all organizations are on the same page when responding to all types of emergencies. The NIMS provides the template for the management of incidents, while the NRF provides the structure and mechanisms for the National policy for providing resources and managing the Federal response.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, Management of Domestic Incidents, directed the development and administration of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS was originally published in March 2004 and received its first true test during the response to and management of the Hurricane Katrina Disaster.
Consistent use of the NIMS lays the groundwork for response to all emergency situations, from a single agency responding to a fire, to many jurisdictions and organizations responding to a large natural disaster or act of terrorism.
An important effect of the NIMS is that it creates a common approach in both pre-event preparedness and post-event response activities that allow responders from many different organizations to effectively and efficiently work together at the scene of an incident. The NRF and NIMS are companion documents that were created to improve the Nation's incident management and response capabilities. The Incident Command System (ICS) is the NIMS element with which you should become most familiar. ICS allows responders from outside a local jurisdiction or state to volunteer or be sent to another incident scene and still understand the terminology and operations being used. ICS was developed in the 1970s following a series of catastrophic fires in California's wildlands. Lack of predefined methods to effectively integrate interagency requirements into the management structure and planning process. Allow you and other personnel from a variety of agencies to meld rapidly into a common operational structure. ICS has been tested and proved effective in more than 30 years of emergency and non-emergency applications, by all levels of government and the private sector. Organizational Functions: Major functions and functional units with incident management responsibilities are named and defined.
Incident Facilities: Common terminology is used to designate the facilities in the vicinity of the incident area that will be used during the course of the incident. Incident response communications (during exercises and actual incidents) should feature plain language commands so they will be able to function in a multijurisdictional environment.
Modular Organization The ICS organizational structure develops in a modular fashion based on the size and complexity of the incident, as well as the specifics of the hazard environment created by the incident.
Incident Action Planning Centralized, coordinated incident action planning should guide all response activities. Chain of Command: Chain of Command refers to the orderly line of authority within the ranks of the incident management organization. Unity of Command: Unity of Command means that all individuals have a designated supervisor to whom they report at the scene of the incident. There are major management functions that are the foundation upon which the ICS organization develops. Planning: Prepares and documents the Incident Action Plan to accomplish the objectives, collects and evaluates information, maintains resource status, and maintains documentation for the incident.
Logistics: Provides support, resources, and all other services needed to meet the operational objectives.


Depending upon the size and type of incident or event, it may be necessary for the Incident Commander to designate personnel to provide information, safety, and liaison services for the entire organization. Liaison Officer(s) that serve as the primary contact for supporting agencies assisting at an incident. An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation.
States have operations centers that have either robust staffing from agencies such as the DOT or have representatives from these agencies. Federal departments and agencies establish EOCs to manage its resources that are deployed to support incident response operations.
Federal resources are deployed to the vicinity of the incident and managed tactically by the Joint Field Office (JFO).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has resources to assist families as they plan for a potential emergency.
The first step is to prepare a supply kit that has the essential items for the first 72 hours after an emergency. Once you’ve assembled your kit, you should discuss the plan of action for after an emergency. You also need to discuss places to meet.  Remember… different disasters may require you to go to different places, so it’s a good idea to have a few planned spots to head for, both in and out of your immediate neighborhood. Do you know which local stations broadcast information, designated shelters and evacuation instructions for your region? The best time to seek out this information is before you need it.  Commit to finding this information now, and sharing it with your family and friends. Related PostsGrant Programs and Legislation Fuel Incentive for Generator Quick ConnectsSeptember is National Emergency Preparedness Month2013 Hurricane Outlook.
Our MissionWe identify a select number of significant public issues and stimulate action on those issues through communications programs that make a measurable difference in our society. In recent years, devastating earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires have highlighted the need for Americans to prepare for natural disaster. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter with the latest updates on our PSA campaigns and best practices from the social marketing field. Response activities tend to be the same regardless of the event – life-saving, minimizing damage to infrastructure, caring for peoples' needs. Department of Transportation; and, with DOTs from other States to ensure response activities can be easily integrated when necessary. The Director of the State Emergency Management Agency ensures that the state is prepared to deal with large-scale emergencies and is responsible for coordinating the state response in any emergency or disaster.
The individual appointed by the Governor to coordinate state disaster assistance efforts with those of the Federal government. If you needed to, would you know how to shut off gas, electricity and water?  How will you communicate with those closest to you?
Some local governments text alerts to local residents, others use sirens…would you know what the siren meant if you heard it? However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), half of Americans have not discussed or developed a family emergency plan.The Ad Council has partnered with FEMA on the Ready Campaign since 2003, with the goal of educating Americans about the best ways to prepare. It’s also a good idea to write down the phone numbers and addresses of your family and store it inside of your emergency kit. Texting is easier than calling in the moments following a disaster, and are a great way to let others know that you’re safe.  Local phone lines will likely be overwhelmed in the moments following a disaster…do you have an out of town relative that you can all reach out to and communicate with should you be unable to reach one another locally? You may not be able to search for it online or on your phone during a crisis.  Don’t forget to stash food for your pets as well! Be sure that you know what to do in the event of earthquakes, high winds, floods, and severe weather.




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