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The Role of the National Response Framework (NRF) Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 30th, 2022


The National Response Framework (NRF) locally oversees the public security and emergency reaction to dynamic crises and catastrophic events. The NRF’s primary objective is to oversee, train, and spotlight responders to convey and apply reaction strategies during an emergency, for example, disaster regulation, response teams, clinical groups, and government agents. The effect of disaster preparedness on the public level is estimated by security, reaction, moderation, and avoidance. Disaster readiness creates strategy frameworks that enhance association within the crisis management teams. The NRF integrates knowledge, surveillance, correspondence, and other strategic reaction units to solve occurrences that negatively influence national security. National disasters, such as earth tremors, fires, drought, and floods, are generally frequent in the United States and cause enormous harm to human beings. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) needs to control all non-legislative, governmental, and private area organizations to forestall rates that may hurt the environment or cause a death toll. Strategies are put in place to decrease disasters and coordinate response plans for crisis management; these strategies include communication systems used during a crisis response between cities within the same jurisdiction.

Memorandum of Understanding

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is an agreement contract that binds two or more parties in a mutually beneficial partnership, although it is not legally binding. An MOU allows the state parties to work together towards a common goal. It highlights the parties involved in the partnership and explains each party’s projects, scope, and role. For an MOU to work effectively, parties involved need to have corporate engagements since the understanding is not legally binding. An MOU needs to be stated clearly and straight to enhance the corporation and engagement of both teams; roles and responsibilities, financial concerns, and timeline of the understanding are factors that may lead to minimal corporations between parties.

The MOU between Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is an example of an efficient agreement. The document highlights the responsibilities and procedures to be carried out by both parties during a disaster, the agreement’s duration, description of the project, eligibility, and background. The MOU is a disaster-based response cooperative agreement that is beneficial in situations where disasters occur (“CNCS internal procedures,” 2008). The document systematically states the framework of the disaster, which the MOU covers was designed in 1999 and is continuously updated, indicating corporative engagement between the two parties. Another example of an MOU agreement is corporative conversations among the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce (“Partnership for cooperative conservation,” 2010). The agreement highlights the different sections of an MOU but fails to indicate the involved parties’ key responsibilities, exhibiting concerns over collaborative engagement. The agreement was signed in 2009 by the involved parties, unlike the FEMA-CNCS agreement.

Mutual Emergency Response Agreement

Reciprocal emergency response is an agreement between jurisdiction boundaries on managing crises in towns. Reciprocal emergency response is also commonly known as mutual aid agreement, which helps in providing and sharing resources such as responders, supplies and equipment, facilities, and workforce to manage emergencies. Mutual aid agreements enable towns to handle extreme emergencies by providing a means to enhance resources. Emergency response agreements are made between governments and non-governmental organizations. The NIMS provides a guideline and critical elements required to implement the agreement’s operational layout plans. The agreements’ main aim is to establish systems that enhance disaster preparedness and identify potential gaps in operations and planning within states that share boundaries. The purpose of these agreements is to share response resources, coordinate planning, ensure timely arrival aid, arrange for specialized resources, reduce litigation and liability, and strengthen relationships between towns (Bryant et al., 2019). During a crisis in towns, responders share and multiply resources between the two states sharing boundaries.

Mutual aid agreements promote access to required resources within states to minimize disaster impact within the shortest time. Various types of mutual aid agreements are established within states to ensure that resources needed are reciprocated during a crisis, depending on the agreement made. Some common mutual aid examples include local, regional, interstate, and international mutual aid. A local automatic mutual aid is an agreement permitting the required resources’ automatic response with minimal incident approvals. The local automatic mutual aid is nearly critical when there is limited time to save lives and minimize human suffering. For instance, a fire department may respond to a nearby state fire incident to minimize the damage.

The local mutual aid differs from the local automatic aid as it entails a formal resource request covering a broader scope of the area compared to the local automatic aid. A regional emergency response agreement, sponsored by the council of governments, enhances disaster preparedness by incorporating assets in both states (Doan & Shaw, 2019). For instance, the mutual aid box alarm system is structured to manage fire incidences by deploying medical services and rescue teams across several states. Interstate mutual aid is a typical emergency response between states to offer disaster management support.

Search and Rescue Plan of Operation

The ICS organizes structures to mitigate disaster areas’ response and manage the rescue and search plan process. The search and rescue plan of disaster operation is a significant part of disaster preparedness to ensure that the various teams work as one unit to regulate and minimize disaster damage in the region and save human lives. Command system frameworks uphold each of the four ICS branches’ tasks by illustrating occurrence goals, operational objectives, and duration of events (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2019, pp. 15-16). The ICS arranging team is liable for supervising the crisis event-related information, combining and breaking down the incident-related information, and dealing with the reaction framework by planning information.

The search and rescue operation plan is majorly executed by the incident command system’s operations team. The logistics category strengthens disaster management’s command structure by using its resources and workforce and implementing technical activities. The operational team develops detailed rescue and search strategies with procedures and actions to accomplish set targets in mitigating damage caused by the crisis. The operations unit also implements structures to achieve the goal of the response. The finance supports command and operations activities by carrying out tracking expenses’ administrative duties.

Communication During Disasters

Communication plays an essential part in disaster management by reestablishing secure channels to disseminate critical information to the public, responders, and the operational team. Emergency communications services are responsible for coordinating with telecommunications companies, protecting national data, and providing updated information concerning the emergency. The incident system’s command section ensures that the communication mode is useful during a disaster. For responders at the crisis site, satellite phones and two-way (walkie-talkies) radios are the most commonly used form of communication to avoid any mishaps using mobile phones (Ahmad et al., 2018). Nevertheless, the public uses mobile phones and social media to create awareness of the disaster and request additional community resources. Responders prefer using satellite phones instead of mobile phones due to the convenience, security, and reliability of walkie-talkies. In emergencies, the need to disseminate information efficiently to the response team without networks or any threat caused by hacking communication systems is essential. Command systems personnel require a communication structure with minimal delay between conversations and one that does not use networks if there is a disruption of the network in the region of disaster.


In conclusion, the NRF includes adaptable, versatile, and flexible techniques and coordinates the national incident management systems in adjusting the vital obligations and roles across the regions. During a crisis, a continuous flow of data and status reports are vital for the ICS branches to facilitate their dynamic. The operational and command sections of crisis management are an essential part of disseminating information to the public and the responders during a crisis. Several teams work together to mitigate the damage caused; in this case, a memorandum of understanding may be formed by two parties to share the roles and responsibilities for efficiency. However, states within the same jurisdiction can mutually agree to manage emergency response during a disaster. The comparison between the two MOUs indicated varies significantly by the agreement’s in-depth detail. One agreement clearly shows the parties involved highlighting the responsibilities, procedures, and detail of the projects to be followed during a disaster, while the other agreement states the duration and sections of an agreement without indicating the parties’ responsibilities. Agreements between parties and the town ensure that seeking help and resources is fastened, minimizing the damage and potential costs of outsourcing resources.


Ahmad, H., Agiwal, M., Saxena, N., & Roy, A. (2018). D2D-based survival on sharing for critical communications. Wireless Networks, 24(6), 2283–2295. Web.

Bryant, J. L., Sosin, D. M., Wiedrich, T. W., & Redd, S. C. (2019). Emergency operations centers and incident management structure. In S. A. Rasmussen & R. A. Goodman (Eds.), the CDC field epidemiology manual (pp. 307–318). Oxford University Press.

CNCS internal procedures: FEMA mission assignments, disaster deployments and reimbursements. (2008). Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Web.

Doan, X. V., & Shaw, D. (2019). Resource allocation when planning for simultaneous disasters. European Journal of Operational Research, 274(2), 687–709. Web.

(2010). EPA. Web.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2019). National response framework (4th ed.). Web.

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