CJ Week 11: Discussion Question 2

 Discussion Topic #2: Compare and contrast the NIMS and the National Response Framework (NRF). Do we need both?

Additional Information: Please see the attachment

January 22, 2008

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What’s New in the National Response Framework

New Name: The National Response Framework supersedes the National Response Plan and more adequately serves as a guide to how the nation conducts incident response. The new name better aligns the document with its intent.

Purpose: To ensure that government executives, private sector, nongovernmental organization (NGO) leaders, and emergency management practitioners across the nation understand domestic incident response roles, responsibilities and relationships in order to respond more effectively to any type of incident.

Broader Scope: The Framework provides structures for implementing national-level policy and operational coordination for domestic incident response. In this document, incidents include actual or potential emergencies or all-hazard events that range from accidents and natural disasters to actual or potential terrorist attacks. Such incidents range from modest events wholly contained within a single community to others that are catastrophic in nature and national in their scope of consequences.

Wider Audience: The Framework is intended for executive leadership and emergency management practitioners at all levels of government, as well as private sector, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Integrated Key Concepts: An effective, unified national response requires layered, mutually supporting capabilities, with States having the primary responsibility for public health and welfare of its citizens. Five elemental principles of operation constitute national response doctrine:

  • Engaged partnerships
  • Tiered response
  • Scalable, flexible and adaptable operational capabilities
  • Unity of effort through unified command
  • Readiness to act

Expanded Focus on Partnerships: The Framework states that an effective national response requires layered, mutually supporting capabilities. This approach affirms that local communities, tribes and States have primary responsibility for the safety and security of their citizens; that local leaders build the foundation for response and that resilient communities begin with prepared individuals and families.

Updated Planning Section: The Framework contains a section that focuses on the critical importance of planning. The intent is to lay the groundwork to:

  • Link planning, preparedness, resource and asset management processes, and data in a virtual environment;
  • Prioritize plans and planning efforts to best support homeland security strategies and allow seamless transition to execution; and
  • Provide parallel and concurrent planning at all levels of government.

Improved Annexes and Appendixes: The Emergency Support Functions and Support Annexes have been updated and remain an integral part of the Framework. The Incident Annexes will be revised and released in the near future. These documents are available on-line at http://www.fema.gov/national-response-framework along with other reference material.

New Guides for Response Partners: Partner guides are available for local, State, Federal and private sector partners to assist them in applying the Framework’s principles for a coordinated, effective National response. Each guide provides a more detailed description of roles and responsibilities; response structures; key actions before, during and after an incident; and ways to request and/or provide assistance. These guides are intended to provide an overview of how these various organizations organize and operate, and how they interact with each other to provide a unified, national response.

Clearer Terminology:

• Incident of National Significance. The term Incident of National Significance has been eliminated in order to focus on a more agile coordinated response by the entire incident management community. The designation of an Incident of National Significance became an arbitrary and confusing trigger point for various levels of response activities.

• Unified Coordination Group and Staff. The terms Joint Field Office (JFO) Coordination Group and JFO Coordination Staff have been replaced with Unified Coordination Group and Staff, respectively. This is consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) command and management principles.
Senior Officials. The term Senior Federal Official (SFO), a designation of a particular representative in the Unified Coordination Group, has been replaced with the term “Senior Officials” to broaden the scope of representation. This will allow for State, tribal or even private sector representatives to serve in the Unified Coordination Group, if necessary.

• Incident Management Assist Teams (IMATs). IMATs will soon replace existing Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) at the national and regional level as well as the Federal Incident Response Support Teams (FIRST). The responsibilities of the IMATs are similar to the ERTs, however, the IMATs will be full time employees concentrated on the response mission.

• Deletion of Incident Advisory Council (IAC). The May 2006 Notice of Change created an Incident Advisory Council at the Federal headquarters level. That entity no longer exists.

Clarified Roles and Responsibilities:

• Principal Federal Official (PFO). By law and by Presidential directive, the Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official responsible for coordination of all domestic incidents requiring multiagency Federal response. The Secretary may elect to designate a single individual to serve as his or her primary representative to ensure consistency of Federal support as well as the overall effectiveness of the Federal incident management. When appointed, such an individual serves in the field as the PFO for the incident. The Secretary will only appoint a PFO for catastrophic or unusually complex incidents that require extraordinary coordination. The same individual will not serve as the PFO and the FCO at the same time for the same incident.

• Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). In Stafford Act incidents, the FCO is the focal point of coordination within the Unified Coordination Group, ensuring overall integration of Federal emergency management, resource allocation, and seamless integration of Federal activities in support of, and in coordination with, State, tribal, and local requirements. The same individual will not serve as the PFO and the FCO at the same time for the same incident.

• Senior Federal Law Enforcement Official (SFLEO). The Framework indicates that the SFLEO is appointed by the Attorney General during an incident requiring a coordinated Federal response to coordinate all law enforcement, public safety, and security operations with intelligence/investigative law enforcement operations directly related to the incident.

• Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander. Based on the magnitude, type of incident and anticipated level of resource involvement, the DOD may designate a JTF Commander to command Federal (Title 10) military activities in support of the incident objectives. The JTF Commander exercises operational control of Federal military personnel and most defense resources in a Federal response (excluding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Unless federalized, National Guard forces remain under the control of a State Governor. The use of a JTF does not replace the requirement for a Defense Coordinating Officer who remains the DOD single point of contact in the Joint Field Office for requesting assistance from DOD.

Major Annex Changes

While there are many proposed changes to annexes such as addition of Support Agencies or responsibilities, only the major fundamental changes which are essential to the execution of the annex functions before the next release are listed below.

• ESF #6 – Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing and Human Services. ESF #6 is expanded in scope to include emergency assistance, the aid required by individuals, families, and their communities to ensure that immediate needs beyond the scope of the traditional “mass care” services. These services include: support to evacuations (including registration and tracking of evacuees); reunification of families; pet evacuation and sheltering; support to specialized shelters; support to medical shelters; non-conventional shelter management; coordination of donated goods and services; and coordination of voluntary agency assistance. DHS/FEMA executes the emergency assistance activity. In addition, the American Red Cross is no longer a primary agency for mass care; that responsibility has transferred to DHS/FEMA.

• ESF #7 – Logistics Management and Resource Support. ESF #7 and the Logistics Management Support Annex have been combined to create a comprehensive, national disaster logistics planning, management and sustainment capability. The General Services Administration and FEMA are the primary agencies.

• ESF #9 – Search and Rescue. ESF #9 is expanded from its original scope of urban search and rescue to incorporate Structure Collapse (Urban) Search and Rescue, Waterborne Search and Rescue, Inland/Wilderness Search and Rescue, and Aeronautical Search and Rescue.

• ESF #10 – Oil and Hazardous Materials Response. ESF #10 has incorporated additional responsibilities from the now defunct Oil and Hazardous Materials Incident Annex.

• ESF #11 – Agriculture and Natural Resources. ESF #11 added a fifth primary function of Safety and Well-Being of Household Pets. Under USDA, ESF #11 will coordinate and support an integrated Federal, State, tribal, and local response to ensure the safety and well-being of household pets. Supported activities include the evacuation, transportation, sheltering, husbandry, and veterinary care of affected animals as mandated in the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006.

• ESF #13 – Public Safety and Security. ESF #13 has expanded its scope to include general law enforcement.

• Critical Infrastructure Key Resources (CIKR) Support Annex. A new annex was developed which details processes to ensure coordination and integration of CIKR-related activities among a wide array of public and private incident managers and CIKR security partners within immediate incident areas as well as at the regional and national levels. DHS is the coordinating agency.

• Logistics Management Support Annex. The Logistics Management Support Annex no longer exists. Information from the annex has been incorporated into ESF #7.

• Volunteer & Donations Management Support Annex. The Volunteer and Donations Management Support Annex has been expanded to include a function to facilitate collection and tracking of offers for effective matching of offers and requirements through a website. The annex also addresses international donations. Private sector and other high level offers of donations and volunteer are supported by the DHS Private Sector Office.

• Food and Agriculture Incident Annex. The Food and Agriculture Incident Annex describes the roles and responsibilities associated with all incidents that require a coordinated Federal response involving the Nation’s agriculture and food systems. While this Annex was released in Summer of 2006, it was released independently from other NRP documents. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are the coordinating agencies for the Food and Agriculture Incident Annex.

• Mass Evacuation Incident Annex. This Annex identifies the agencies and organizations involved in a federally supported mass evacuation operation; defines the roles and responsibilities of Federal entities in planning, preparing for, and conducting mass evacuations in support of State, tribal, and local authorities; establishes the criteria under which Federal support to mass evacuations is provided; and provides a concept of operations for Federal mass evacuation support. DHS/FEMA is the coordinating agency for the Mass Evacuation Incident Annex.

• Oil and Hazardous Materials Incident Annex. The Oil and Hazardous Materials Incident Annex no longer exists. Information from the annex has been integrated into ESF #10.