National Response Framework

  • National Response Framework
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • January 2008
    • 90 pages
    • Public
    • Retrieved from

This National Response Framework (NRF) [or Framework] is a guide to how the Nation conducts all-hazards response. It is built upon scalable, flexible, and adaptable coordinating structures to align key roles and responsibilities across the Nation. It describes specific authorities and best practices for managing incidents that range from the serious but purely local, to large-scale terrorist attacks or catastrophic natural disasters. This document explains the common discipline and structures that have been exercised and matured at the local, tribal, State, and national levels over time. It describes key lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, focusing particularly on how the Federal Government is organized to support communities and States in catastrophic incidents. Most importantly, it builds upon the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides a consistent template for managing incidents.

The term “response” as used in this Framework includes immediate actions to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency plans and actions to support short-term recovery. The Framework is always in effect, and elements can be implemented as needed on a flexible, scalable basis to improve response.

This document is an outgrowth of previous iterations of Federal planning documents. A brief discussion of its history underscores important elements of the Framework and highlights improvements to the previous National Response Plan (NRP). This Framework was preceded 15 years earlier by a Federal Response Plan (1992) that focused largely on Federal roles and responsibilities.

Table 2. Emergency Support Functions and ESF Coordinators
ESF #1 – Transportation
ESF Coordinator: Department of Transportation
• Aviation/airspace management and control
• Transportation safety
• Restoration and recovery of transportation infrastructure
• Movement restrictions
• Damage and impact assessment
ESF #2 – Communications
ESF Coordinator: DHS (National Communications System)
• Coordination with telecommunications and information technology industries
• Restoration and repair of telecommunications infrastructure
• Protection, restoration, and sustainment of national cyber and information technology resources
• Oversight of communications within the Federal incident management and response structures
ESF #3 – Public Works and Engineering
ESF Coordinator: Department of Defense (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
• Infrastructure protection and emergency repair
• Infrastructure restoration
• Engineering services and construction management
• Emergency contracting support for life-saving and life-sustaining services
ESF #4 – Firefighting
ESF Coordinator: Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service)
• Coordination of Federal firefighting activities
• Support to wildland, rural, and urban firefighting operations
ESF #5 – Emergency Management
ESF Coordinator: DHS (FEMA)
• Coordination of incident management and response efforts
• Issuance of mission assignments
• Resource and human capital
• Incident action planning
• Financial management
ESF #6 – Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services
ESF Coordinator: DHS (FEMA)
• Mass care
• Emergency assistance
• Disaster housing
• Human services
ESF #7 – Logistics Management and Resource Support
ESF Coordinator: General Services Administration and DHS (FEMA)
• Comprehensive, national incident logistics planning, management, and sustainment capability
• Resource support (facility space, office equipment and supplies, contracting services, etc.)

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