Draft National Response Framework Released For Public Comment

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking comments on the draft National Response Framework, successor to the National Response Plan, for a 30-day public comment period. The framework, which focuses on response and short-term recovery, articulates the doctrine, principles and architecture by which the United States prepares for and responds to all-hazard disasters across all levels of government and all sectors of communities.

The framework is intended for senior elected and appointed leaders, such as federal agency heads, state governors, mayors, tribal leaders and city managers. Simultaneously, it informs emergency management practitioners by explaining the operating structures and tools routinely used by first responders and emergency managers at all levels of government.

"The Framework recognizes that most incidents are managed locally," DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said. "But when needed to support state and local officials as they respond to a disaster, the Framework establishes the playbook for the federal coordination of resources and assets to manage disasters of all sizes and scope."

The framework incorporates a number of key recommendations from more than 700 individuals representing federal, tribal, state and local governments, non-governmental agencies and associations and the private sector who participated in a review process that began in September 2006. Supporting documents, including Emergency Support Functions, Support and Incident Annexes and other appendices have also been updated, expanded and remain an integral part of the framework. These documents are available at the newly-created NRF Resource Center, which is available online at http://www.fema.gov/nrf. This resource center will be updated as additional supporting materials are created or revised.

The 30-day comment period provides interested parties with the opportunity to provide feedback on the document. A comment form has been circulated to various departments, agencies and key stakeholders. Individuals who wish to submit comments can obtain a comment form and instructions for submission online at http://www.fema.gov/nrf.

In addition to the core framework, supporting documents, including Emergency Support Functions, Support and Incident Annexes and other appendices have also been updated and remain an integral part of the framework. There will be a 60-day comment period for these supplemental documents. During this period, the existing National Response Plan remains in effect.

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