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Obama Administration Announces New Approach to Strengthen Disaster Recovery Across the Nation

Cross post by Elizabeth Zimmerman, Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Response & Recovery

Today, we are announcing a new multiagency effort to strengthen the way the federal family works together to support state, tribal, territorial and local communities to recover after disaster strikes.

For the first time, the National Disaster Recovery Framework defines how federal agencies will work together to best meet the needs of states and communities in their ongoing recovery, by aligning key roles and responsibilities among all our partners. The emphasis of this framework is that recovering after a disaster is a team effort – one that includes local, state, tribal, territorial and federal governments, the private sector, voluntary, faith-based and community organizations and the public.

Finalizing the National Disaster Recovery Framework was truly a collaborative process – accomplished through extensive stakeholder outreach and dialogue. The process began in Fall 2009 and has spanned across the country, gathering input from stakeholders that include professional associations, academic experts and communities recovering from disasters. In fact, some elements of the framework have already been implemented to save jobs in disaster affected areas of Tennessee in 2010, to open schools on time following the devastating tornado that tore through Joplin, MO and to support the recovery following the recent tornado outbreaks in the southeast this past Spring.   

Here are some key aspects of the framework:

  • The National Disaster Recovery Framework aligns with the long-standing, National Response Framework (which  primarily addresses actions during a disaster response) and shares the same key features, such as the ability to scale to the nature and size of a disaster, establishing an operational structure and developing a common planning framework. 
  • The National Disaster Recovery Framework recognizes that local, state, tribal and territorial governments have primary responsibility for the recovery of their communities. It identifies core principles to ensure all community members have equal opportunities to participate in recovery efforts in a meaningful way, and emphasizes that all resources, whether they are local or federal, should be brought to the table to best address the recovery needs of communities.
  • The National Disaster Recovery Framework introduces six Recovery Support Functions represented at the federal level by primary coordinating agencies such as Community Planning and Capacity Building (DHS/FEMA), Economic (Department of Commerce), Health and Social Services (Health and Human Services) , Housing (Department of Housing and Urban Development) Infrastructure Systems (United States Army Corps of Engineers) and Natural and Cultural Resources (Department of Interior) which are supported by more than 15 departments, agencies and organizations. 

We encourage you to read through the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

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