Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
As required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, the NRP establishes the structure and process for systematic, coordinated, and effective delivery of Federal assistance to augment State, Tribal, and jurisdictional response capabilities. It describes Federal resources that are available to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from major emergencies and disasters. In addition, the NRP outlines the mechanisms for mobilizing and integrating Federal support. While the NRP is always in effect, its implementation is scalable and flexible to meet the unique operational and information sharing requirements of any major threat, disaster, and emergency, including acts of terrorism.
The types of direct Federal assistance that States, Tribal Nations, and jurisdictions may need, as well as the operations support required to sustain Federal response (e.g., transportation, communications), are organized in the NRP under ESF annexes. Each ESF is coordinated by a Primary Agency designated on the basis of its authorities, resources, and capabilities in a particular functional area. Federal public health and medical assistance is provided under ESF #8, and HHS serves as the Primary Agency to coordinate ESF #8 resources to fulfill the requirements identified by the affected State(s), Tribe(s), and jurisdictional authorities. HHS may also support other ESFs, most notably ESF #6—Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services.
Pursuant to HSPD-5, the Secretary of DHS is responsible for the overall coordination of Federal resources under the NRP. During an event, the Secretary of DHS may designate a PFO to act as his/her representative in the field to oversee, coordinate, and execute Federal incident planning and response activities. The Secretary also relies on a host of multiagency coordinating structures at the Federal headquarters, regional, and field levels. These structures, some of which were recently modified in the May 2006 update of the NRP, include the following:
The NRP is built upon the NIMS, which provides the core doctrine, terminology, and organizational processes for coordinated multidisciplinary and intergovernmental incident management. This includes uniform personnel qualifications and standards for equipment and communications. These concepts are necessary for interoperability and compatibility. The NIMS management framework is applicable to all hazards regardless of cause, size, or complexity. The Incident Command System (ICS) is put forth by NIMS as the model for organizing and managing emergency personnel and resources during incident response. The NIMS requires that field command and management functions be performed in accordance with standard ICS organizations, doctrine, and procedures.
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