National Response Framework (NRF)

The National Response Framework (NRF) provides foundational emergency management doctrine for how the Nation responds to all types of incidents. The NRF is built on scalable, flexible, and adaptable concepts identified in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to align key roles and responsibilities across the Nation.

The structures, roles, and responsibilities described in this Framework can be partially or fully implemented in the context of a threat or hazard, in anticipation of a significant event, or in response to an incident. Implementation of the structures and procedures described herein allows for a scaled response, delivery of specific resources and capabilities, and a level of coordination appropriate to each incident.

Responding to disasters and emergencies requires the cooperation of a variety of organizations; the larger or more complex the incident, the greater the number and variety of organizations that must respond.

Think of a residential fire: Firefighters are leading the charge; public works may be on scene providing traffic control; police are providing security; emergency medical services personnel are triaging, transporting, and redistributing injured to local hospitals; and a local nonprofit or voluntary organization (e.g., American Red Cross and Salvation Army) may be on hand to assist displaced residents.

For large disasters, such as major hurricanes or earthquakes, the incident complexity is increased as others—such as states or tribes and, ultimately, the Federal Government—become involved. Businesses, voluntary organizations, and other elements of the private sector are also key stakeholders, providing the essential services that must be restored following an incident.

The NRF provides the foundation for how these organizations coordinate, integrate, and unify their response.

The National Preparedness System outlines an organized process for the whole community to move forward with its preparedness activities and achieve the National Preparedness Goal. The National Response Framework (NRF) sets the strategy and doctrine for how the whole community builds, sustains, and delivers the response core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal in an integrated manner with the other mission areas. The fourth edition of the NRF emphasizes enhancing the unity of effort between the government and the private sector through better coordination and collaboration.