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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Partner Agencies and Organizations

Health and Social Services Recovery Support Function

The Health and Social Services Recovery Support Function (H&SS RSF) assists locally-led recovery efforts in the restoration of the public health, healthcare and social services networks to promote the resilience, health and well-being of affected individuals and communities.  Each Recovery Support Function has a designated coordinating agency along with primary agencies and supporting organizations with programs relevant to the functional area.

Coordinating Agency:  Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the Coordinating Agency for H&SS RSF.  The Coordinating Agency provides leadership, coordination and oversight for that particular RSF, ensures ongoing communication and coordination between the primary agencies and support organizations, and between the Federal agencies and corresponding local, state, tribal,  territorial, insular area authorities and nonprofit and private sector organizations.  In this role, HHS:

  • Represents H&SS RSF at the national level.
  • Establishes communication and information sharing forum(s) for H&SS RSF partners.
  •  Provides technical assistance to support recovery planning and post-disaster activities for public health, health care, behavioral health, and social services infrastructure, including to other RSFs.
  • Provides technical assistance regarding program eligibility, application processes, and project requirements for HHS programs as applicable under existing authorities.
  •  Conducts health and social services assessments with states, tribes, local governments, and Federal RSF Primary Agencies.
  • Coordinates with other Federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local partners to assess food, animal, water, and air conditions to ensure safety.
  • Provides assessment information regarding the consequences on the health and human services sectors in an affected community.
  • Identifies and coordinates H&SS RSF-specific missions with Primary Agencies and Supporting Organizations.
  • Supports RSF national- and field-level operations with subject matter expertise and staffing support, as appropriate.
  • Develops and implements a plan to transition from Federal health and social services recovery operations back to a steady state.
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of Federal H&SS RSF efforts.

Primary Agency

Primary Agencies are Federal agencies with specific authorities, roles, resources or capabilities necessary for accomplishing the mission of the RSF.

Corporation for National and Community Service

  • Represents National Service at the national level.
  • National Service programs, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, provide trained members to support communities’ most pressing needs, including disaster recovery.
  • Facilitates and leverages volunteer engagement for disaster recovery by working closely with state service commissions; National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD); and other Federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local partners to provide national service members and resources in myriad recovery functions.
  • Engages in the following recovery functions (this is a partial list): case management intake; direct physical labor; volunteer management and leadership; and capacity building for Federal, state, territorial, tribal and local government, nonprofit and faith-based organizations.
  • Provides technical assistance to facilitate sharing of best practices among state Service Commissions, grantees, and communities to address specific regional and local needs during long-term recovery.

Department of Agriculture

  • Provides technical and financial assistance regarding health and social services and USDA-related program eligibility (childcare centers, hospitals, nursing homes) application processes and project requirements.
  • Supports RSF national and field level operations with subject matter expertise and staffing support, as appropriate.
  • Provides economic and physical assessment of disaster impacts on USDA financed health related infrastructure programs.
  • Provides technical advice on health impacts associated with animal/zoonotic disease or plant pest infestation, carcass disposal, and disease management to safeguard public health.
  • Safeguard health of human, animal, and environment (including agriculture): For premises or areas under USDA regulatory control in the affected region, help evaluate the extent of exposure to susceptible species (plant or animal) from the loss of a premises’ or area’s biosecurity and ensure that the premises or area reestablish their biosecure status as soon as possible.

Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency

  • Provides technical assistance and guidance on Hazard Mitigation Grant Program eligibility.
  • Provides technical assistance and guidance on the reimbursement eligibility of disaster-related medical, dental, funeral, and burial costs.
  • Provides technical assistance and guidance on PA Grant Program eligibility.
  • Provides technical assistance, coordination, and grant funding of Federal Disaster Case Management Program.
  • Provides grant funding in crisis counseling.

Department of Homeland Security/National Protection and Programs Directorate

  • Department of Homeland Security/National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Sector Outreach and Programs Division provides information and technical expertise, in protective measures, for critical infrastructure and has a Public Health Specialist who coordinates with the private sector.
  • Communicates with relevant stakeholder networks to share accurate information and to obtain public perspective.
  • Coordinates with relevant Department of Homeland Security components and Federal interagency and nongovernmental organization partners as needed to identify resources to ensure equal access to physical/ architectural, programmatic, and communications aspects of the recovery process for all populations within the impacted community.
  • Participates in the impact assessment protocol to obtain information regarding impacts to protected populations (individuals who are statutorily protected on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, and other characteristics) and to provide civil rights guidance to assure recovery activities address these impacts in an equitable manner.
  • Provides guidance and resources to assure that recovery activities respect the civil rights and civil liberties of all populations and do not result in discrimination on account of race, color, national origin (including LEP), religion, sex, age, disability, or other characteristics.
  • Monitors recovery activities to ensure equal opportunity and civil rights laws are upheld.
  • Monitors complaints received to identify trends and respond accordingly.

Department of Homeland Security/Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

  • Communicates with relevant stakeholder networks to share accurate information and to obtain public perspective.
  • Coordinates with relevant Department of Homeland Security components and Federal interagency and nongovernmental organization partners as needed to identify resources to ensure equal access to physical, architectural, programmatic, and communications aspects of the recovery process for all populations within the impacted community.
  • Participates in the impact assessment protocol to obtain information regarding impacts to protected populations (individuals who are statutorily protected on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, and other characteristics) and to provide civil rights guidance to assure recovery activities address these impacts in an equitable manner.
  • Provides guidance and resources to assure that recovery activities respect the civil rights and civil liberties of all populations and do not result in discrimination on account of race, color, national origin (including LEP), religion, sex, age, disability, or other characteristics.
  • Monitors recovery activities to ensure equal opportunity and civil rights laws are upheld.  Monitors complaints received to identify trends and respond accordingly.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Assess preliminary housing impacts and pre- and post-disaster needs, identify available options for temporary housing, and support the local development of the plan for permanent housing.
  • Address affordable, accessible, and workforce housing needs in community planning efforts.
  • Address interim housing needs, assess options for permanent housing, and define an achievable timeline for achieving a resilient, accessible, and sustainable housing market in community recovery plans.
  • Meet the resilient and sustainable permanent housing needs of the community, including the need for accessible housing and housing options for owners and their household pets within a specified timeframe.

Department of the Interior

  • Implements welfare programs for tribes under Title 25 Code of Federal Regulations Part 20, including the administration of the “Emergency Assistance” fund, which is limited in scope and provides essential needs assistance directly to individuals who suffer from fire, flood, or other destruction of their home or personal possessions that are not covered by a primary resource.
  • Provides technical assistance, guidance and direction on Bureau of Indian Affairs welfare assistance program policies, implementation and interpretation through social service workers within the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Department of Justice

  • Coordinates as needed with tribal governments and tribal courts
  • The U.S. Attorney coordinates with the Attorney General and with the district’s other Department of Justice law enforcement agencies to ensure a comprehensive response.
  • Enforces the criminal laws of the United States and conducts affirmative and defensive civil litigation.
  • Coordinates anti-fraud enforcement efforts and serves as a clearinghouse for disaster fraud matters through the National Disaster Fraud Command Center.
  • Monitors recovery activities to ensure compliance with equal opportunity and civil rights laws.
  • Enforces by prosecution and civil litigation, promulgates regulations, and provides guidance on compliance with Federal civil rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Receives complaints of, investigates, and prosecutes violations of Federal criminal civil rights statutes.
  • Provide confidence in public safety by the enforcement of Federal law

Department of Labor

  • Coordinates assistance programs to help individuals, households, and businesses meet basic needs and return to self-sufficiency.
  • Provides funding to support immediate need for worker training, particularly health care workers.
  • Establishes communications infrastructure that could be used to communicate with employers nationwide. (Note: The Department of Labor performs this function as part of the Economic RSF.)
  • Provides expertise in economic assessment of emergency impacts and special economic impact analysis. (Note: The Department of Labor performs this function as part of the Economic RSF.)

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Provides technical assistance to support recovery planning of public health, health care, and social services infrastructure.
  • Provides technical assistance for long-term cleanup to minimize public health threats, including: environmental sampling and monitoring, site assessment, decontamination, and disposal

Support Organizations

Support organizations are those entities with specific capabilities or resources that support accomplishing the mission of the RSF.

American Red Cross

  • Provides case management assistance with unmet needs and health and mental health services, as local resources are available.
  • Supports community recovery by providing health education, preventative measures (e.g., vaccinations), or assisting public health with long-term health monitoring, as local resources are available.
  • Provides mental health recovery and resilience information, tools, and resources to school personnel, community members, mental health providers, community service providers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Provides psychological first aid and resilience training to community members, as needed.
  • Provides information to the public on the adequacy of the blood supply to meet current needs or request public support in scheduling blood donations to support post-disaster requirements. In coordination with the AABB Task Force, provides information to the public on the adequacy of the blood supply to meet current needs or requests public support in scheduling blood donations to support post-disaster requirements.

Department of Commerce

  • Share, aggregate, and integrate economic impact data to assess economic issues and identify potential inhibitors to fostering stabilization of the affected communities.
  • Implement economic recovery strategies that integrate the capabilities of the private sector, enable strong information sharing, and facilitate robust problem solving among economic recovery stakeholders.
  • Ensure the community recovery and mitigation plan(s) incorporate economic recovery and remove inhibitors to post-incident economic resilience, while maintaining the rights of all individuals.

Department of Education

  • Supports the restoration of the learning environment for students and staff in impacted communities as available and appropriate.
  • Supports Federal partners in the coordination of health and social services delivered through impacted schools.
  • Supports Federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local partners in the coordination of  enrollment, educational services, and health and social services for students who are homeless or  displaced prior to, or as a result of, the disaster.
  • Provides incident-specific technical assistance and training to schools and higher education  institutions in impacted areas, as available and appropriate.

Department of Transportation

  • Provides technical assistance in long-term recovery planning and engineering of transportation infrastructure systems necessary to support health care and social services facilities.

Department of Treasury

  • Supports RSF national- and field-level operations with subject matter expertise, as appropriate.
  • Supports the RSF in the areas of financial literacy and tax-related assistance through education, outreach, and tax return preparation assistance.

Department of Veteran's Affairs

Subject to the availability of resources and funding, and consistent with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mission to provide priority services to veterans, when requested:

  • Coordinates with participating National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) hospitals to provide incident-related medical care to authorized NDMS beneficiaries affected by a major disaster or emergency.
  • Furnishes available VA hospital care and medical services to individuals responding to, involved in, or otherwise affected by a major disaster or emergency, including members of the Armed Forces on active duty.
  • Designates and deploys available medical, surgical, mental health, and other health service support assets.
  • Provides a Medical Emergency Radiological Response Team for technical consultation on the medical management of injuries and illnesses due to exposure to or contamination by ionizing radiation.
  • Alerts VA Federal Coordinating Centers to activate NDMS patient reception plans in a phased, regional approach, and, when appropriate, in a national approach.
  • Buries and memorializes eligible veterans and advises on methods for interment during national or homeland security emergencies.

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

  • Facilitates communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration between NVOAD members and partners and throughout communities to better prepare for and respond to disasters and other emergency incidents.
  • Assists in communicating, to the government and the public, the services provided by its member organizations.
  • Facilitates information sharing during planning, preparedness, response, recovery, and after a disaster incident.
  • Provides NVOAD members with information pertaining to the severity of the disaster, needs identified and actions of volunteers and others throughout the response, relief, and recovery process.
  • Provides guidance on standards, guidelines, or best practices for survivor mass care, case management, emotional and spiritual care, housing, rebuild and repair, long-term recovery, and the management of unaffiliated volunteers and unsolicited donated goods.

Small Business Administration

  • Provides loans for property damages to non-farm business of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations and Economic Injury Disaster Loans to eligible small businesses and private nonprofits.
  • Provides technical assistance regarding program eligibility, application processes, and project requirements.
  • Provides counseling and other technical assistance to small businesses.
  • Promotes small business access to capital through loans, investments, etc., aimed at sustaining businesses applications.
  • Supports RSF national- and field-level operations with small business expertise and staffing support, as appropriate. 

  • This page last reviewed: May 04, 2017