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Handbook 06-08
May 2006

Chapter 4

Emergency Support Tasks

To facilitate the type of assistance that the federal government can offer states, emergency support functions (ESFs) have been developed. ESFs are groupings of government and certain private-sector capabilities into an organizational structure to provide the support, resources, program implementation, and services likely to be needed to save lives; protect property and the environment; restore essential services and critical infrastructure; and help victims and communities return to normal, when feasible, following domestic incidents. ESFs serve as the primary operational-level mechanism to provide assistance to state, local, and tribal governments or to federal departments and agencies conducting missions of primary federal responsibility.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is most likely to be involved in supporting ESFs 1, 3, 8, 9, and 11. A complete discussion of ESF can be found in the National Response Plan (NRP). Figure 4-1 shows how ESFs are typically assigned to sections of the Operations division.

Graphic depicitng typical association of ESFs to branch

Figure 4-1: Typical Association of ESFs to Branch

ESF #1 Transportation

  • Scope:
    • Federal and civil transportation support
    • Transportation safety
    • Restoration/recovery of transportation infrastructure
    • Movement restrictions
    • Damage and impact assessment
  • Purpose: Transportation assists federal agencies, State and local governmental entities, and voluntary organizations requiring transportation capacity to perform response missions following a major disaster or emergency. ESF #1 also serves as a coordination point between response operations and restoration of the transportation infrastructure.
  • Lead federal agency (LFA): Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Support federal agencies:
    • Department of Agriculture (DOA)
    • Department of Commerce (DOC)
    • DOD
    • Department of Energy (DOE)
    • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
    • Department of the Interior (DOI)
    • Department of Justice (DOJ)
    • Department of State (DOS)
    • General Services Administration (GSA)
    • U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
  • DOD responsibilities: Processing and overall coordination of requests for federal and civil transportation support received from organizations eligible under the Federal Response Plan (FRP), including requests for military transportation.

ESF #2 Communications

  • Scope:
    • Coordination with telecommunications industry
    • Restoration/repair of telecommunications infrastructure
    • Protection, restoration
    • Sustainment of national cyber and information technology resources
  • Purpose: Communications ensures the provision of federal telecommunications support to federal, state, and local response efforts following a presidentially declared major disaster, emergency, or extraordinary situation under the FRP. This ESF supplements the provisions of the National Plan for Telecommunications Support in Non-Wartime Emergencies, hereafter referred to as the National Telecommunications Support Plan (NTSP).
  • LFAs: DHS/Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection/National Communications System
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    • GSA
  • DOD responsibilities: Provide assistance in civil emergencies in accordance with national policies, consistent with defense priorities as set forth in DOD Directive 3025.1, Military Support to Civil Authorities. The Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) has designated the Secretary of the Army as the executive agent for DOD support to civil emergencies.

ESF #3 Public Works and Engineering

  • Scope:
    • Infrastructure protection and emergency repair
    • Infrastructure restoration
    • Engineering services
    • Construction management
    • Critical infrastructure liaison
  • Purpose: Public works and engineering provides technical advice and evaluation; engineering services; contracting for construction management and inspection; contracting for the emergency repair of water and wastewater treatment facilities; potable water and ice, emergency power, and real estate support to assist the state(s) in meeting goals related to lifesaving and life-sustaining actions; damage mitigation; and recovery activities following a major disaster or emergency
  • LFAs: DOD/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers(USACE), DHS, Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • Department of Labor (DOL)
    • DOT
    • Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • GSA
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
    • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
    • American Red Cross (ARC)
  • DOD responsibilities: The Director of Military Support (DOMS) is the responsible national-level DOD office for military support to civilian authorities. DOD has responsibility for ESF #3 and has designated the USACE as its operating agent for ESF #3 planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. DOD/DOMS will provide a defense coordinating officer (DCO) to serve as the single point of contact (POC) to the federal coordinating officer (FCO) and ESF representatives for all requests for military assistance other than that provided by ESF #3. USACE will support the DCO and deployed joint forces as requested.

ESF #4 Firefighting

  • Scope: Firefighting activities on federal lands and resource support to rural and urban firefighting operations
  • Purpose: Firefighting detects and suppresses wild land, rural, and urban fires resulting from, or occurring coincidentally with, a major disaster or emergency requiring federal response assistance
  • LFA: DOA, Forest Service
  • Supporting federal agencies: DOC, DOD, DHS, DOI, EPA
  • DOD responsibilities: Assume full responsibility for firefighting activities on U.S. military installations. Support firefighting operations on nonmilitary lands with personnel, equipment, and supplies under the terms of the existing interagency agreement, including the arrangement of liaisons as required. Provide contracting services through the USACE to urban and rural firefighting forces to obtain heavy equipment and/or demolition services as needed to suppress disaster-related fires.

ESF #5 Emergency Management

  • Scope:
    • Coordination of incident management efforts
    • Issuance of mission assignments
    • Resource and human capital
    • Incident action planning
    • Financial management
  • Purpose: Collects, analyzes, processes, and disseminates information about a potential or actual disaster or emergency to facilitate the overall activities of the federal government in providing assistance to one or more affected states. Fulfilling this mission supports planning and decision making at both the field/regional operations and headquarters (HQ) levels.
  • LFAs: DHS/EPR/FEMA
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • Department of Education
    • DOE
    • DHHS
    • DHS
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    • DOI
    • DOJ
    • DOL
    • DOS
    • DOT
    • Department of the Treasury
    • DVA
    • EPA
    • FCC
    • GSA
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • NRC
    • Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
    • Small Business Administration (SBA)
    • TVA
    • USPS
    • ARC
  • DOD responsibilities: National security (DOD)

ESF #6 Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services

  • Scope:
    • Mass care
    • Disaster housing
    • Human services
  • Purpose: Mass care coordinates federal assistance in support of state and local efforts to meet the mass care needs of victims of a disaster. This federal assistance will support the delivery of mass care services of shelter, food, and emergency first aid to disaster victims; the establishment of systems to provide bulk distribution of emergency relief supplies to disaster victims; and the collection of information to operate a disaster welfare information (DWI) system to report victim status and assist in family reunification.
  • LFAs: DHS, EPR, FEMA, ARC
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOD
    • DHHS
    • DHS
    • HUD
    • DOI
    • DOJ
    • DOL
    • DOT
    • Department of Treasury
    • DVA
    • GSA
    • OPM
    • SBA
    • Social Security Administration (SSA)
    • USPS
    • Corporation for National and Community Service
    • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
  • DOD responsibilities:
    • Director of Military Support provides available resources (personnel, equipment, and supplies) in the absence of other national disaster system resource capabilities (including contracting).
    • USACE:
    • Provide potable water and ice for mass care use and bulk distribution to disaster victims.
    • Provide assistance in inspecting mass care shelter sites after the disaster to ensure suitability of facilities to safely shelter disaster victims.
    • Provide assistance in constructing temporary shelter facilities, if necessary, in the disaster area.

ESF #7 Resource Support

  • Scope: Resource support (facility space, office equipment and supplies, contracting services, etc.)
  • Purpose: Resource support provides operational assistance in a potential or actual presidentially declared major disaster or emergency.
  • LFAs: GSA
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • DHS
    • DOL
    • DOT
    • DVA
    • NASA
    • National Communications System (NCS)
    • OPM
  • DOD responsibilities: Provide resources (personnel, equipment, and supplies) in the absence of other national disaster system resource capabilities (including contracting) when provision does not conflict with the DOD’s primary mission or its ability to respond to operational contingencies.

ESF #8 Public Health and Medical Services

  • Scope:
    • Public health
    • Medical
    • Mental health services
    • Mortuary services
  • Purpose: Health and medical services provides coordinated federal assistance to supplement State and local resources in response to public health and medical care needs following a major disaster or emergency, or during a developing potential medical situation. Assistance provided under ESF #8 is directed by the DHHS through its executive agent, the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (ASPHEP). resources will be furnished when state and local resources are overwhelmed and public health and/or medical assistance is requested from the federal government.
  • LFA: DHHS
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • DOJ
    • DOL
    • DOS
    • DOT
    • DVA
    • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
    • EPA
    • GSA
    • USPS
    • ARC
  • DOD responsibilities:
    • Alert Global Patient Requirements Movement Center (GPMRC) to provide DOD National Disaster Medical System federal coordinating centers (FCCs) (Army, Air Force, and Navy) and Veterans Affairs (VA) National Disaster Management System (NDMS) FCC reporting/regulating instruction to support disaster relief efforts.
    • Alert DOD NDMS FCCs to activate NDMS area operations/patient reception plans; initiate bed reporting based on GPMRC instructions.
    • In coordination with NDMS Operation Support Center (NDMSOSC), evacuate and manage patients as required from the disaster area to NDMS patient reception areas.
    • In coordination with DOT and other transportation support agencies, transport medical personnel, equipment, and supplies into the disaster area.
    • Provide logistical support to health/medical response operations.
    • Provide active duty medical units for casualty clearing/staging and other missions as needed, including aeromedical evacuation; mobilize and deploy Reserve and National Guard

ESF #9 Urban Search and Rescue

  • Scope: Life-saving assistance and urban search and rescue
  • Purpose: Urban search and rescue rapidly deploys components of the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System to provide specialized lifesaving assistance to state and local authorities in the event of a major disaster or emergency. US&R operational activities include locating, extricating, and providing on-site medical treatment to victims trapped in collapsed structures.
  • LFA: DHS, EPR, FEMA
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DHHS
    • DHS
    • DOJ
    • DOL
    • DOT
    • USAID
    • NASA
  • DOD responsibilities:
    • Primary source for:
      • Fixed-wing transportation of US&R task forces and incident support teams (ISTs) from base locations to mobilization centers or base support installations (BSIs). Target time frame for airlift missions is six hours from the time of task force activation;
      • Rotary-wing transportation of US&R task forces and ISTs to and from isolated, surface-inaccessible, or other limited-access locations
      • Through the USACE, provide trained structures specialists and System to Locate Survivors (STOLS) teams to supplement resources of US&R task forces and ISTs
      • Through the USACE, provide predisaster training for US&R task force and IST structures specialists.
    • Secondary source for:
      • Ground transportation of US&R task forces and ISTs within the affected area
      • Mobile feeding units for US&R task forces and IST personnel
      • Portable shelter for use by US&R task force and IST personnel for eating, sleeping, and working.

ESF #10 Oil and Hazardous Materials Response

  • Scope: Oil and hazardous materials (chemical, biological, radiological, etc.) response and environmental safety and short-and long-term cleanup.
  • Purpose: Hazardous materials response provides federal support to state and local governments in response to an actual or potential discharge and/or release of hazardous materials following a major disaster or emergency. As an element of the FRP, ESF #10 may be activated under one of the following conditions:
    • In response to a disaster for which the President (through DHS) determines that federal assistance is required to supplement the response efforts of the affected state and local governments, under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act
    • In anticipation of a major disaster or emergency that is expected to result in a declaration under the Stafford Act.
    A Presidential declaration does not automatically activate ESF #10. DHS will determine, in consultation with affected states, the EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), if appropriate, if such activation is required to supplement the efforts of state and local governments. (The USCG will be consulted in a disaster or emergency where the predominant damage is within its jurisdiction. As primary agency for the ESF, EPA also will be consulted in such cases.)

    Within the context of this ESF, the term “hazardous materials” is defined broadly to include oil; hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended; pollutants and contaminants defined under Section 101(33) of CERCLA; and certain chemical, biological, and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

    Federal response to releases of “hazardous materials” is carried out under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) (40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 300).

    EPA will serve as the National Chair and lead agency for each activation of ESF #10, with close coordination with the USCG in geographic locations under USCG jurisdiction. The USCG will be the ESF #10 Regional Incident Chair for a disaster or emergency affecting only the areas under USCG jurisdiction. (Precise jurisdictional boundaries have been determined by EPA/USCG agreements and are described in the NCP as well as in greater detail in the Regional Oil and Hazardous Pollution Contingency Plans [RCPs]). The USCG will receive mission assignments directly from DHS for such responses. (To provide a smooth interface with the response structure established under the NCP, regional incident-specific lead for ESF #10 may be transferred from one regional chair to the other if circumstances dictate.) In the event that an incident involves both EPA and USCG jurisdictions, EPA will assume the ESF #10 Incident Chair role, with the USCG serving as Vice Chair. Each agency will have the option of transferring the lead agency or specific tasks role to the other; however, the Incident Chair will retain responsibility for effectively addressing the ESF #10 tasks, both NCP and non-NCP.
  • LFAs: EPA, DHS, USCG
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • DHHS
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • DOJ
    • DOL
    • DOS
    • DOT
    • GSA
    • NRC
  • DOD responsibilities:
    • Direct response actions for releases of hazardous substances from its vessels, facilities, and vehicles.
    • Provide personnel and equipment to other federal organizations and state and local governments (such as Supervisor of Salvage and Diving [SUPSALV]), as requested, if consistent with DOD operational requirements.

ESF #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Scope:
    • Nutrition assistance
    • Animal and plant disease/pest response
    • Food safety and security
    • Natural and cultural resources
    • Historic properties protection and restoration
    • Purpose: Identifies, secures, and arranges for the transportation of food assistance to affected areas following a major disaster or emergency or other event requiring federal response.
  • LFA: DOA, DOI
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • DHHS
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • DOJ
    • DOS
    • DOL
    • DOT
    • EPA
    • GSA
    • USPS
    • ARC
  • DOD responsibilities:
    • Assess the availability of DOD food supplies and storage facilities capable of storing dry, chilled, and frozen food.
    • Assess the availability of DOD transportation equipment, material handling equipment, and personnel for support. This responsibility will be confined to the posts, camps, and stations within or adjacent to the disaster area.
    • Arrange for the delivery and distribution of resources to areas designated by the ESF.

ESF #12 Energy

  • Scope:
    • Energy infrastructure assessment, repair, and restoration
    • Energy industry utilities coordination
    • Energy forecast.
  • Purpose: Energy helps restore the nation’s energy systems following a major disaster, emergency, or other significant event requiring federal response assistance. In addition, the DOE members of ESF #12 provide direct coordination with all other department response elements.
  • LFA: DOE
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • DOL
    • DOS
    • DOT
    • EPA
    • NRC
    • TVA
  • DOD responsibilities: Director of Military Support report damage assessment and recommend priorities to ESF #12 for restoring energy service to critical defense facilities. USACE coordinate emergency power team tasking with power-system restoration activities to assist in setting priorities and ensure time and resources are not wasted in providing support to a facility that is about to have its power restored.

ESF #13 Public Safety and Security

  • Scope:
    • Facility and resource security
    • Security planning and technical and resource assistance
    • Public safety/security support
    • Support to access, traffic
    • Crowd control.
  • Purpose: Public safety and security integrates federal public safety and security capabilities and resources to support the full range of incident management activities associated with potential or actual incidents of national significance.
  • LFAs: DHS and DOJ
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOA
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • DOJ
    • DVA
    • EPA
    • NASA
    • SSA
    • USPS
  • DOD responsibilities: Provides physical and electronic security systems assistance and expertise.

ESF #14 Long-term Community Recovery and Mitigation

  • Scope:
    • Social and economic community impact assessment
    • Long-term community recovery assistance to states, local governments, and the private sector
    • Mitigation analysis and program implementation.
  • Purpose: Long-term community recovery and mitigation provides a framework for federal government support to state, regional, local, and tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector designed to enable community recovery from the long-term consequences of an Incident of National Significance. This support consists of available programs and resources of federal departments and agencies to enable community recovery, especially long-term community recovery, and to reduce or eliminate risk from future incidents, where feasible.
  • LFA: DOA, DOC, DHS, HUD, Department of the Treasury, SBA.
  • Supporting federal agencies:
    • DOC
    • DOD
    • DOE
    • DHHS
    • DHS
    • DOI
    • DOL
    • DOT
    • EPA
    • TVA
    • ARC
  • DOD responsibilities: Provides technical assistance in community planning and civil engineering, and natural hazard risk assessment expertise. Supports the development of national strategies and plans related to housing and permanent housing, debris management, and the restoration of public facilities and infrastructure.

ESF #15 External Affairs

    • Scope: Emergency public information and protective action guidance, media and community relations, congressional and international affairs, tribal, and insular affairs.
    • Purpose: External affairs ensures that sufficient federal assets are deployed to the field during a potential or actual incident of national significance to provide accurate, coordinated, and timely information to affected audiences, including governments, media, the private sector, and the local populace. ESF #15 provides the resource support and mechanisms to implement the NRP and Incident Communications Emergency Policy and Procedures (NRP-ICEPP) described in the NRP Public Affairs Support Annex.
    • LFAs: DHS, EPR, FEMA
    • Supporting federal agencies: All
    • DOD responsibilities: Depending on the nature and scope of the incident, all federal departments and agencies support the NRP and are responsible for providing appropriate support for ESF #15 as required.


 

Last Reviewed: May 18, 2012

 
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