Skip over global navigation links
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Disaster Medical System

The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is a federally coordinated healthcare system and partnership of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Defense, and Veterans Affairs. The purpose of the NDMS is to support State, local, Tribal and Territorial authorities following disasters and emergencies by supplementing health and medical systems and response capabilities. NDMS would also support the military and Veterans Health Administration health care systems in caring for combat casualties, should requirements exceed their capacity.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), in its role as Coordinator of Emergency Support Function #8 (ESF-8), Public Health and Medical Services, of the National Response Framework, employs the NDMS to provide patient care, patient movement, and definitive care, as well as veterinary services, and fatality management support when requested by authorities from States, localities, Tribes and Territories, or other federal departments. Some common missions for NDMS include: augmenting a hospital in a disaster area to decompress the overtaxed emergency department; providing veterinary services to federal working animals during National Security Special Events (NSSE), such as the Presidential Inauguration; and, supporting the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and affected localities with fatality management services following major transportation disasters. Although NDMS is primarily a domestic disaster response capability, NDMS teams and personnel have also responded to disasters internationally, such as in Iraq and Haiti following devastating earthquakes.

Some common missions for NDMS include: augmenting a hospital in a disaster area to decompress the overtaxed emergency department; providing veterinary services to federal working animals during National Security Special Events, such as the Presidential Inauguration; and, supporting the National Transportation Safety Board and affected localities with fatality management services following major transportation disasters. Although NDMS is primarily a domestic disaster response capability, NDMS teams and personnel have also responded to disasters internationally, such as in Iraq and Haiti following devastating earthquakes.


About the National Disaster Medical System

Our Vision

To serve the Federal response by providing disaster medical care to the nation.

Our Mission

The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is a federally coordinated healthcare system and partnership of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Defense, and Veterans Affairs. The purpose of the NDMS is to support State, local, Tribal, and Territorial authorities following disasters and emergencies by supplementing health and medical systems and response capabilities. NDMS would also support the military and Veterans Health Administration health care systems in caring for combat casualties, should requirements exceed their capacity.

Components of the National Disaster Medical System

  • Medical response to a disaster area in the form of personnel, teams and individuals, supplies, and equipment.
  • Patient movement from a disaster site to unaffected areas of the nation.
  • Definitive medical care at participating hospitals in unaffected areas. 

 

 

 

Watch, Listen & Learn

  • This page last reviewed: December 06, 2016