This weekend vicious storms and tornados rolled across 6 states in the midwest and south killing at least 43 persons, putting local, county and state government agencies and thousands of First Responders into action. As we know (all too well) last week the Congress and Senate narrowly averted a shutdown of our national government due to the inability to agree on the 2011 budget. The National Response System (NRS) routinely and effectively responds to a wide range of oil and hazardous substance releases. When releases are serious enough to be considered "Nationally Significant Incidents," the National Response Framework (NRF) is activated, and works in conjunction with the NRS and NCP. Other components of EPA's response structure include the National Response Center and the National Response Team. When a release or spill occurs, the organization responsible for the release or spill is required by law to notify the National Response Center (NRC). The OSC determines the status of the response by state and local government responders and the company responsible for the release or spill, called the potentially responsible party. The OSC may request additional support to respond to a release or spill, such as: additional contractors, technical support from EPA's Environmental Response Team, or Scientific Support Coordinators from EPA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Emergency Response and Disaster Management are different domains of activity with different information sharing requirements. If you are a follower of the ICE PACK blog we are ardent and vocal advocates of personal responsibility and resiliency. Emergency preparedness and disaster response must be factored into the national security of our great nation throughout every level of government.
It is a multi-layered system of individuals and teams from local, state, and federal agencies, industry, and other organizations.
The NCP ensures that the federal government’s resources and expertise are available immediately for emergencies that are beyond the capabilities of local and state responders. The NRF is the federal government's comprehensive, all-hazard approach to crisis management. The OSC may seek support from the Regional Response Team (RRT) to access special expertise or to provide additional logistical support.
While we feel it is imparitive to urge, cajole, encourage and sometimes seemingly demand that citizens prepare themselves to deal with emergencies and disasters, we perhaps have not written enough about the responsibilites of local government and their critical role in disaster preparedness and response.

It’s also difficult to get a grip on the fact that “if” they had not come to an agreement the federal government would have been essentially shut down. Hopefully, your local government did not put its fate in the hands of someone that simply did a “cut and paste” job on a document that will never survive its first contact with disaster!
It provides a mechanism for coordinating federal assistance to state governments and localities.
In addition, the National Response Team stands ready to provide backup policy and logistical support to the OSC and the RRT during an incident.
Speeding the flow of location information means more lives and property saved and less risk for first responders. The net result of open standards is that Emergency Response and Disaster Management stakeholders have more information available to them before, during and after an emergency or disaster occurs.

Free small business continuity plan
School emergency plan sample


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