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Monday, October 27, 2003

Initial U.S. National Response Plan Issued September 30th 2003 

Condensed version of the United States Department of Homeland Security INITIAL NATIONAL RESPONSE PLAN
September 30, 2003 - U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The purpose of a unified National Response Plan is to harmonize the operational processes, procedures, and protocols detailed in such documents as:
- the Federal Response Plan
- U.S. Government Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan
- Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan
- Mass Migration Emergency Plan (Distant Shore)
-National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan

The National Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) is the primary national-level hub for operational communications and information pertaining to domestic incident management. Located at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters, the HSOC integrates and provides overall steady state threat monitoring and situational awareness for domestic incident management on a 24/7 basis.

1. In this capacity, the HSOC serves as the Secretary's primary point of coordination for the following activities:
a. maintaining domestic incident management operational situational awareness, including threat monitoring and initial incident information assessment;
b. facilitating homeland security information-sharing and operational coordination with other emergency operations centers at the Federal, State, local, and tribal levels, as well as emergency operations centers managed by nongovernmental entities,
c. disseminating or coordinating the dissemination of homeland security threat warnings, advisory bulletins, and other information pertinent to national incident management;
d. providing general situational awareness and support to and acting upon requests for information generated by the Interagency Incident Management Group discussed in section IV.B. below; and
e. facilitating domestic incident awareness, prevention, deterrence, and response and recovery activities, as well as direction to DHS components.

2. The HSOC will coordinate its activities with the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, the Terrorist Screening Center, and other Federal government mechanisms for terrorism-related threat analysis and warning.

3. To perform these functions, the HSOC will establish and maintain real-time communications links to other Federal emergency operations centers at the national level, as well as appropriate State, regional, and nongovernmental emergency operations centers and incident management officials and relevant elements of the private sector.

4. The HSOC comprises representatives from DHS and other Federal departments and agencies as required to support steady state threat-monitoring requirements, as well as domestic incident management activities (see Annex A).

5. DHS component entity operations centers established to support day-to-day operational activities and incident management responsibilities as defined in existing plans will continue to function in accordance with those plans. DHS component operations centers will establish and maintain direct connectivity, or capability for connectivity, with the HSOC on a 24/7 basis and will keep the HSOC apprised of all operational activities conducted in support of incident management requirements.

6. Nothing in this plan impacts or impedes the ability of other Federal departments and agencies to establish their own emergency operations centers and maintain a direct flow of information to these operations centers from government or private sector representatives at the local incident site.

7. Nothing in this plan impacts or impedes the ability of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to develop and disseminate FBI intelligence bulletins and threat warnings to law enforcement.

An Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG) facilitates national-level domestic incident management and coordination.

1. The Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official for domestic incident management. Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Secretary is responsible for coordinating Federal operations within the United States to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

The Secretary shall coordinate the Federal Government's resources utilized in response to or recovery from terrorist attacks, major disasters, or other emergencies if and when any one of the following four conditions applies:

(1) a Federal department or agency acting under its own authority has requested the assistance of the Secretary;
(2) the resources of State and local authorities are overwhelmed and Federal assistance has been requested by the appropriate State and local authorities;
(3) more than one Federal department or agency has become substantially involved in responding to the incident; or
(4) the Secretary has been directed to assume responsibility for managing the domestic incident by the President.

2. To facilitate national-level domestic incident management and coordination of Federal operations and resources when any of the criteria identified above is met or in anticipation thereof, the Secretary may activate a tailorable, task-organized headquarters-level Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG) comprising senior representatives from 4
Initial National Response Plan DHS components and other Federal departments and agencies and nongovernmental organizations, as required, that is capable of:

a. serving as the focal point for Federal headquarters-level operational coordination of a domestic incident;
b. reviewing and validating threat assessments and making recommendations to the Secretary on actions to take in response to credible threats, including changes in the National Homeland Security Advisory System alert level;
c. synthesizing information and framing issues for the Secretary or other appropriate officials;
d. recommending priorities to the Secretary for the use or allocation of Federal resources in support of domestic incident management;
e. providing general oversight of the application of Federal resources in support of domestic incident management in coordination with existing agency and interagency resource management and private sector entities;
f. providing strategic situational awareness and decision support across the full spectrum of domestic incident management domains, to include awareness, prevention, protection, response, and recovery; and
g. anticipating evolving Federal resource and operational requirements according to the specifics of the situation at hand.

The IIMG replaces the Secretary of Homeland Security's Crisis Assessment Team.

The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security is responsible for interagency policy coordination regarding domestic incidents.

1. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security is responsible for interagency policy coordination regarding domestic incident management, as directed by the President.

Following an initial assessment by the Secretary of Homeland Security, interagency policy issues framed by the IIMG, particularly those of a time-sensitive or high-level nature, will be considered for resolution by the Deputies and/or Principals Committees of the Homeland Security Council.

The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security will coordinate policy resolution with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs regarding domestic incidents with international implications, including those which may have been perpetrated, in part or whole, by international terrorist organizations or other foreign powers.

2. Nothing in this plan is intended to impact or impede the ability of any Federal department or agency head to take an issue of concern directly to the President, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, or any other member of the President's staff.

A Principal Federal Official (PFO) may be appointed to represent the DHS Secretary at the incident.

1. When an incident meeting the criteria set forth in section IV.B.1. occurs, or in anticipation of an incident meeting this criteria, the Secretary may designate a Federal officer to serve as the PFO to act as his representative locally and oversee and coordinate Federal activities relevant to the incident.

The roles and responsibilities of the PFO include the following:

a. representing the Secretary of Homeland Security as the senior Federal official on scene to enable the Secretary to carry out his role as the principal Federal official for domestic incident management;
b. ensuring overall coordination of Federal domestic incident management activities and resource allocation on scene, ensuring the seamless integration of Federal incident management activities in support of State, local, and tribal requirements;
c. providing strategic guidance to Federal entities and facilitating interagency conflict resolution as necessary to enable timely Federal assistance to State, local, and tribal authorities;
d. serving as a primary, although not exclusive, point for Federal interface with State, local, and tribal government officials, the media, and the private sector for incident management; e. providing real-time incident information, through the support of the Federal incident management structure on scene, as detailed in the Federal Response Plan and other Federal incident management and emergency operations plans, to the Secretary of Homeland Security through the HSOC and the IIMG, as required; and
f. coordinating the overall Federal public communications strategy at the State, local, and tribal levels and clearing Federal interagency communications to the public regarding the incident.

2. Required Federal assets and resources will be requested and deployed consistent with the procedures identified in the Federal Response Plan, U.S. Government Domestic Counterterrorism Concept of Operations Plan, and other related plans. Using the protocols detailed therein, the PFO, as designated by the Secretary, will oversee the coordination of the deployment and application of Federal assets and resources in support of the on-scene incident commander.

The PFO will do this in coordination with other Federal officials identified in existing plans, such as the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge (SAC) on scene. The FCO, the FBI SAC, and other Federal incident management officials designated in existing plans will maintain their authorities and responsibilities as defined in the Federal Response Plan and other existing plans, statutes, and Presidential directives. Nothing in this document impacts or impedes the ability or the authorities of the FBI SAC or other designated Federal officials to carry out their duties under the law or to coordinate directly with their department or agency chain of command in the execution of these duties.

3. The PFO and supporting staff will be collocated with other Federal entities established to support incident management activities at the local level, including the Federal Joint Operations Center and the Disaster Field Office. Whenever possible, these entities will be collocated in a single facility, called the Joint Field Office (see section IV.E. below).

4. The Secretary of Homeland Security will publish a generic organizational structure and support requirements for the PFO cell in a separate document. Other Federal departments and agencies with representation on scene shall provide their full and prompt cooperation, resources, and support, as appropriate and consistent with applicable authorities, to the PFO cell in the fulfillment of the requirements identified by the Secretary.

5. The Secretary of Homeland Security will inform the Governor(s) of the affected State(s) and will announce the designation of the PFO via a message from the HSOC to other Federal, State, local and tribal emergency operations centers, as well as through an appropriate media event or press release as soon as practicable after incident notification. In certain scenarios, a PFO may be pre-designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security to facilitate domestic incident planning and coordination.

6. If the PFO cannot arrive at the incident site immediately, the Secretary may designate a Federal officer to serve as an initial PFO in an interim capacity until the PFO is in place. The initial PFO/PFO will have all the responsibilities listed above and may or may not be an employee of the Department of Homeland Security.

7. The PFO and a small staff component may deploy with the Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) to enhance situational awareness and facilitate their timely arrival on scene.

The PFO and supporting staff will conform to deployment timelines and other guidelines established in DEST procedures, including, but not limited to, those outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding between DHS and DOJ/FBI regarding the DEST program. Nothing in this Initial NRP alters the existing DEST concept of operations or affects the mission of the DEST to support law enforcement operations at the scene of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat or event.

Federal entities will be integrated into a Joint Field Office (JFO) whenever possible.

1. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal incident management activities, the operations of various Federal entities established at the local level should be collocated in a JFO.
When feasible, the JFO should incorporate existing entities, such as the Joint Operations Center, the Disaster Field Office, and other Federal offices and teams that provide support on scene.
When feasible, the JFO will be collocated with a State, county, or local emergency operations center. State, local, and tribal governments will be encouraged to be integral participants in the JFO to facilitate coordinated resource support to the incident commander(s).

2. The PFO will ensure that adequate connectivity is maintained between the JFO and:
-the HSOC;
-tribal, local, county, State, and regional EOCs;
-nongovernmental EOCs;
-and relevant elements of the private sector.

To the extent feasible, staffing of the JFO will include:
-representatives of State, local, and tribal first responder communities,
-as well as representatives of senior State, local, and tribal government
-and emergency management officials.

3. Detailed procedures governing the interaction and specific membership composition of the JFO will be included as part of the full NRP. The Secretary of Homeland Security will publish interim operating procedures for the JFO.

Requirements

A. Federal Departments and Agencies:
1. As required by HSPD-5, and consistent with section I.D. of this plan, provide cooperation, resources, and support to the Secretary of Homeland Security in the implementation of this Initial NRP;
2. Designate representatives to staff the HSOC (see Annex A) and IIMG (see Annex B) at the request of the Secretary of Homeland Security;
3. As required by HSPD-5, make initial revisions to existing incident management and emergency response plans under their purview, including individual agency continuity-of-operations plans, to reflect the structural and procedural guidance contained in this Initial NRP within 60 days of its approval by the Homeland Security Council. (All other aspects of current Federal incident management and emergency response plans shall remain operative, pending publication of the full NRP.); and
4. Report to the HSOC, according to procedures established by the Secretary of Homeland Security:
a. the initiation of a Federal department or agency plan or action to prevent, respond to, or recover from an incident for which a department or agency has responsibility under law or directive under the criteria established in HSPD-5;
b. the submission of requests for assistance to or receipt of a request from another Federal department or agency in the context of domestic incident under the criteria established in HSPD-5; and
c. the receipt of requests for assistance from State, local, or tribal governments; nongovernmental organizations; or the private sector.

B. Secretary of Homeland Security:

1. In coordination with other affected departments and agencies, develop and publish detailed operational procedures for the HSOC, IIMG, and JFO within 60 days of the approval of the Initial NRP;
2. In coordination with other affected departments and agencies, develop and publish a detailed organizational structure, operational procedures, and support requirements for a standard DHS PFO cell within 60 days of the approval of the Initial NRP; and
3. In coordination with other affected departments and agencies, develop and submit to the Homeland Security Council a plan for development and implementation of the full NRP concurrently with the submission of the Initial NRP.

C. State Governments: State governments and emergency management agencies are requested to report to the HSOC, according to procedures established by the Secretary of Homeland Security in coordination with State governments and emergency management agencies:
1. the activation of State emergency operations centers;
2. the announcement of emergency declarations made under State or local authority; and
3. the activation of State mutual-aid agreements or compacts in response to incidents resulting in emergency declarations or requiring Federal assistance. Additionally, State governments and emergency management agencies are requested to coordinate with the HSOC regarding appropriate procedures for establishing connectivity for domestic incident management purposes.

D. Regional Structures: All existing Federal regional structures will continue to execute incident management responsibilities as detailed in current Federal incident management and emergency response plans, in coordination with the PFO, HSOC, and IIMG.

ANNEX A Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC)

Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP)
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE)
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Department of Defense (DOD)
Department of Energy (DOE)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Department of the Interior (DOI)
Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Department of Labor (DOL)
Department of State (DOS)
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR)
Federal Protective Service (FPS)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP)
Office of National Capital Region Coordination (ONCRC)
Office of State and Local Coordination (S&L)
Public Affairs (PA)
Science and Technology (S&T)
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
United States Secret Service (USSS)

ANNEX B Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG)

Border and Transportation Security (BTS)
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS)
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP)
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE)
Congressional Liaison Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR)
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Department of Commerce (DOC)
Department of Defense (DOD)
Department of Energy (DOE)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Department of the Interior (DOI)
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Department of Labor (DOL)
Department of State (DOS)
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Department of Treasury Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
General Services Administration (GSA)
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP)
International Affairs Office (IO)
Legislative Affairs (LA)
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Office of General Council (OGC)
Office of National Capital Region Coordination (ONCRC)
Office of State and Local Coordination (S&L)
Public Affairs (PA)
Special Assistant to the Secretary for the Private Sector Science and Technology (S&T)
United States Postal Service (USPS)
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
United States Secret Service (USSS)
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
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