To help you keep track of your place within the course, the current lesson title is displayed in the upper left corner of each screen. In addition, a Lesson List is presented at the beginning and end of each lesson.
The lesson overview states the approximate length of the lesson. The progress bar is displayed in the upper right corner of each content screen to help you gauge your movement through the course.
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 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 1: Emergency Management 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? - Transcript
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: https://www.iaem.com/).
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 observing actual incidents 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:
Existing 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 Program working group identified the following eight principles:
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.
In November 1988, Congress amended the Disaster Relief Act and renamed it the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, often referred to simply as the Stafford Act. The Stafford Act created the system in place today by which a Presidential disaster declaration triggers financial and physical assistance through FEMA.
At the beginning of this century, the Nation was confronted with the terrorist attacks of September 11th and major natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. These events prompted dramatic changes in emergency management, including the need to safeguard the Nation from all threats and hazards.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Sandy Recovery Improvement Act
The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) made changes to the way disaster assistance is delivered under a variety of programs.
A significant change under the SRIA was an amendment to the Stafford Act authorizing tribal governments to request a declaration of an emergency or major disaster without going through the State.
Emergency Management: Evolving Doctrine - Video Transcript
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, tribal governments, and all levels of government.
PPD-8 links together national preparedness efforts using the following key elements:
The National Preparedness Goal states the ends we wish to achieve.
The National Preparedness System describes the means to achieve the goal.
National Planning Frameworks and Federal Interagency Operational Plans explain the delivery and how we use what we build.
An annual National Preparedness Report documents the progress made toward achieving the goal.
An ongoing national effort to build and sustain preparedness helps us maintain momentum.
National Preparedness Goal
The National Preparedness Goal presents an integrated, layered, and whole community approach to preparedness. The Goal, itself, is a result of contributions from the whole community. It recognizes that everyone can contribute to and benefit from national preparedness efforts.
National Preparedness Goal: Capabilities and Mission Areas
The emphasis of the National Preparedness Goal is on building and sustaining core capabilities across the five mission areas.
The core capabilities are:
Distinct critical elements necessary to meet the National Preparedness Goal.
Essential for the execution of each mission area: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.
Developed and sustained through the combined efforts of the whole community.
National Preparedness Goal: Core Capabilities
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!
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.
The National Planning Frameworks explain the role of each mission area in national preparedness and provide the overarching strategy and doctrine for how the whole community builds, sustains, and delivers the core capabilities. As the National Planning Frameworks are implemented in the Nation’s efforts to achieve the highest levels of preparedness, partners across the whole community are encouraged to develop a shared understanding of broad-level strategic implications that can inform critical decisions in building and sustaining capability and capacity. The Frameworks describe how the whole community works together to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.
The purpose of the NIMS is to provide a common approach for managing incidents. The concepts provide for a flexible but standardized set of incident management practices with emphasis on common principles, a consistent approach to operational structures and supporting mechanisms, and an integrated approach to resource management.
Incidents typically begin and end locally, and they are managed daily at the lowest possible geographical, organizational, and jurisdictional level. There are other instances where success depends on the involvement of multiple jurisdictions, levels of government, functional agencies, and/or emergency-responder disciplines. These instances necessitate effective and efficient coordination across this broad spectrum of organizations and activities. By using NIMS, communities are part of a comprehensive national approach that improves the effectiveness of emergency management and response personnel across the full spectrum of potential threats and hazards (including natural hazards, terrorist activities, and other human-caused disasters) regardless of size or complexity.
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 of jurisdictions emergency management programs, 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.
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:
CEM® is a voluntary certification program offered by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) for individuals in the emergency management profession.
Certification indicates that the individual has the experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively manage a comprehensive emergency management program and improve emergency management capabilities.
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.
This lesson provided information on emergency management principles, systems, and programs. Below are links to get more information.
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
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 - Video Transcript
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 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.
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.
Each level of government participates in and contributes to emergency management.
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.
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, local, and territorial planners to ensure that their plans are consistent with pertinent plans, national planning frameworks, and the National Incident Management System.
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 (1 of 2)
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.
Nonprofit Sector (2 of 2)
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).
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 (1 of 2)
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.
Partners: Community and Citizens (2 of 2)
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 by taking responsibility for their own self-preparedness efforts. As they prepare and work with others, they will build their communities' security and resilience.
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:
Basic fire safety.
Disaster medical operations.
Light search and rescue operations.
FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute independent study courses.
Additional training opportunities through your local government and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This lesson provided information on the different emergency management roles in the community. Below are links to get more information.
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
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, territorial, 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 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 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, territorial, local, and private-sector partners.
Applying physical, technological, and cyber measures to limit access and verify identity.
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.
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).
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 incident 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.
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.
One of the first response tasks, after immediate life safety, 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.
Response: Rapid Assessment (2 of 2)
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:
Lifesaving needs: Gather information on lifesaving needs including evacuation and search and rescue.
Critical infrastructure: Gather information on critical infrastructure including determining the status of transportation, utilities, communication systems, and fuel and water supplies.
Critical facilities: Gather information on critical facilities including determining the status of police and fire stations, medical providers, water and sewage treatment facilities, and media outlets.
Damage risk: Gather information on the risk of damage to the community (e.g., dams and levees, facilities producing or storing hazardous materials) from imminent hazards.
Displaced individuals: Gather information on the number of individuals who have been displaced because of the event and the estimated extent of damage to their dwellings.
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 (1 of 2)
The goal of recovery is to return the community’s systems and activities back to a "new" 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 (2 of 2)
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.
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 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 as well as restoring quality of life.
Recovery: Long-Term Recovery Considerations
Long-term recovery considerations include:
Keeping people informed and preventing unrealistic expectations.
Implementing mitigation measures while rebuilding bridges, roads, public works, and other parts of the infrastructure 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.
Cross-Cutting Core Capabilities
The following core capabilities apply to all mission areas:
Public Information and Warning
The next section of the lesson will review each of these capabilities.
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.
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.
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 those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. 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 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:
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.
Planning activities and documents that pertain to the local, tribal, territorial, State, and Federal levels.
The types of assistance that may be available from the Federal Government.
In the next lesson, you will learn about the roles of key partners in emergency management.
Lesson 4: Emergency Management Roles
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/territorial 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.
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 emergency management activities described on the next screen, 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:
An important part of the local emergency manager’s role is building relationships with all partners in the emergency management system to ensure the whole community is prepared. These partners include:
Police/law enforcement services.
Emergency medical programs.
Volunteers and voluntary organizations.
Private and nonprofit sector organizations.
Other groups involved in emergency activities.
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. States grant authority to a local government to govern its own affairs through:
Home Rule, or the delegation of power from the State to its sub-units of governments. Home Rule creates local autonomy and limits the degree of State influence in local affairs.
Dillon’s Rule, which is derived from a written decision by Judge John F. Dillon of Iowa in 1868. 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.
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. It is important to learn which rules apply to your jurisdiction.
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.
Role of Tribal Leader (2 of 2)
The tribal leader also can:
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.
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 damage estimates.
Initiates State response actions (personnel, materials, etc.).
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).
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 a declaration request is made, the State or tribal emergency plan must be activated and all appropriate State, tribal, and local actions must 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 declaration request is made through the FEMA Regional Administrator and includes:
Information on the extent and nature of State or tribal resources that have been or will be used;
A certification by the Governor or tribal Chief Executive that State, tribal, 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
For State requests, 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, training, 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 (NRF) 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 ongoing planning, preparedness, and other activities.
FEMA takes a lead role in national preparedness for major crises and has a supportive role in partnership with State, tribal, territorial and local emergency management partners.
Provides technical and financial assistance to State, tribal, territorial 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 enables effective coordination at all levels. Emergency operations centers may use the following functional groups to support field operations:
Policy Group. This is an informal and flexible grouping of experienced public officials representing State, county, tribes, and municipal governments.
Coordination Group. This 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.
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.
It should be noted that this structure is not for making tactical decisions and should not be confused with the Incident Command System.
Case Study: Emergency Management Coordination - Video Transcript
As you watch this case study, take note of the resources and actions so that you can answer a series of questions.
A tornado caused massive property damage and loss of life along its path. Casualties included 36 fatalities, 273 injured, and property damage estimated at over $300 million.
After the tornado, the first priority was search and rescue to assist the injured and find missing people. The second priority was to care for people and identify those needing shelter and other assistance. Local agencies responded quickly to assist the injured and find missing people, joined by county and State agencies coordinated through the emergency operations center.
Among the agencies involved in the response . . .
Three fire and rescue services from the affected areas coordinated with 26 other fire departments to assist with search and rescue and emergency medical support.
The County Sheriff’s Department and the City Police Department were the primary responding agencies, assisted by numerous other local and State agencies.
The County Transportation Department and the City Sanitation Department provided public works support.
In total more than 35 agencies, departments, and organizations provided personnel to coordinate the response and recovery efforts at the county emergency operations center.
In addition, many community-based, faith-based, and volunteer groups provided assistance, including shelter, mass care, mental health, donated goods and services, and animal rescue and care.
The State Emergency Management Agency coordinated State assistance that included the National Guard, Public Safety, the State Department of Transportation, and the State Forestry Commission.
FEMA provided disaster and Community Relations teams, established Disaster Recovery Centers to assist survivors seeking assistance, and held Applicant Briefings for jurisdictions that suffered damage to their infrastructure.
IS-0230.d Lesson 4 Summary
This lesson described the different roles of key partners in emergency management, including:
The local emergency manager.
Private-sector and nongovernmental organizations.
The tribal leader.
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
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 - Video Transcript
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.
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.
Reconciles requirements with other jurisdictions.
Is flexible enough for use in all emergencies.
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.
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 expands on existing State, local, tribal, and territorial Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRAs) processes and other older 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.
The THIRA process supports the first two components of the National Preparedness System:
Identifying and Assessing Risk
Estimating Capability Requirements.
The THIRA process helps communities answer the following questions:
What does the community need to prepare for?
What resources are required in order to be prepared?
What actions (e.g., mitigation activities) could be employed to lessen or eliminate the threat or hazard?
What impacts need to be incorporated into the community’s recovery preparedness planning?
The results of the THIRA process form the foundation for subsequent National Preparedness System activities.
The THIRA process results in:
A list of the community’s threats and hazards of concern.
Context descriptions for each threat and hazard identified.
A minimum of one capability target for each core capability listed in the National Preparedness Goal.
A list of resource requirements to meet the capability targets while also considering preparedness activities that may reduce future resource requirements.
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:
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 and community members 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:
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, previous disasters and special events, 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.
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.
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 contents of the basic plan include:
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:
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 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 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.
This lesson provided information on emergency management principles, systems, and programs. Below are links to get more information.
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.
Lesson 6: Emergency Response Coordination
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.
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 needed to deliver the core capabilities.
Resource Management - Video Transcript
During an incident, getting the right resources to the right place at the right time can be a matter of life and death.
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
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.
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)
Point of Contact and Phone Number for Activation
Cost/Fee for Use
Availability Verified (Date)
Procedures for Inspection, Pick-up, and Return of Resource
James Smith 249.555.4455
For pick-up, call James to ensure in accessible location in warehouse.
Mary Valdez 249.555.4488
Inspect regularly to ensure in good condition.
Meals Ready To Eat
Sara Washington 249.555.4499
Inspect expiration date at regular intervals.
Resource Credentialing and Typing
Building and sustaining capabilities is dependent on having a common approach and terminology 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 - Video Transcript
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.
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
ICS helps responders 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:
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:
Property and environmental conservation
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.
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.
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:
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:
Medical intelligence (i.e., surveillance).
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.
Message runners, coding, and signaling.
ICS Feature: Dispatch/Deployment
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 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 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:
Incident priority determination.
Critical resource planning, acquisition, allocation, and 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.
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).
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.
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 important role of the EOC. As resource shortages occur, the logistics staff at the EOC receives reports of any needs that cannot be met with an agency’s resources. The logistics 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 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.
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
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.
Emergency Management Core Functions
Most emergency operations plans include functional annexes for the following core functions implemented during an emergency:
Emergency Management Functions in Action - Video Transcript
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.
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.
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.
There were some delays activating responders, who could not enter the accident vicinity without proper gear as specified in the EOP annex.
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.
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, nonprofits, 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.
Activity: Interdependence Within the Emergency Management Team
Instructions: This activity presents a structured format with which to explore relationships among emergency personnel in various programs and functional areas. Because a central goal of this course is to promote interrelationships, the effort you devote to exploring interdependence is especially valuable.
To begin, choose a role to play (not your own) from the following list of roles:
Local fire chief
Local executive officer (chief elected official)
Chief of emergency medicine at the local hospital
State director of emergency services
Superintendent of schools
Local public information officer
Red Cross disaster director
Hazardous chemicals safety officer at local plant
Vice-president of local utility company
Vice-president for operations of major regional rail freight carrier
Local police chief
Complete the Interdependence Worksheet. The worksheet will ask you to consider the following factors for the role you chose:
Resource and information needs
Results or accomplishments of specified interactions
Activity: Problem-Solving in Crisis-Prone County (1 of 2)
Instructions: Read the scenario. On the next screen, you will receive an email message.
Scenario: You meet a young man at a training session. He is a new employee in Crisis-Prone, a county in another part of your State.
He has a background in management and administration and is anxious to prove himself, yet he also is mindful of politics and diplomacy. Six weeks later, you receive an email from him asking for your assistance in an emergency management project.
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.
In the next lesson, you will review the information presented in this course.
The National Preparedness Goal identified mission areas within which we must build and sustain capabilities. Using a Whole Community approach, emergency management supports or executes the below 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.
Review – Lesson 4: Roles of Key Partners
The concept of “whole community” describes the importance of each partner’s role in emergency management:
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. CPG 101 describes the process for developing and maintaining an EOP.
Review – Lesson 6: Emergency Response Coordination (1 of 2)
An important part of your community’s planning process is determining how to address risks with available resources. Your community needs to have mechanisms to track, access, and manage resources. An important resource that must be managed in an incident is personnel. Your EOP coordinates personnel during a response using the Incident Command System (ICS).
Review – Lesson 6: Emergency Response Coordination (2 of 2)
Another important resource planning and coordination consideration during an incident is how to work efficiently with other organizations. Some tools that support this are:
A Multiagency Coordination System (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.
An EOC: Provides a central location where agency representatives can coordinate and make decisions when managing an emergency response.
Review – Lesson 7: Functions of an Emergency Management Program
Two categories of emergency management activities are:
Emergency Management Core Functions
Emergency Management Program Functions
Performed during an emergency.
Direction, Control, and Coordination
Information Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination
Emergency Public Information
Mass Care and Emergency Assistance
Health and Medical Services
Performed on a daily basis.
Laws and authorities
Threat and hazard analysis
Operations and procedures
Communication and warning
Direction and control
Logistics and facilities
Exercises, evaluations, and corrective actions
Public education and information
Finance and administration
You have now completed the introduction to the fundamentals of emergency management.
As you work to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond, and recover from threats and hazards, remember to partner with your whole community, develop a comprehensive emergency plan, and plan and coordinate your resources to ensure your community is prepared.