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National Response Plan

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The National Response Plan (NRP) was completed in December 2004, was released January 6, 2005, by then Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and was to be implemented in April 2005. [1]

The NRP "specifies how the resources of the Federal Government will work in concert with State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector to respond to Incidents of National Significance. The NRP is predicated on the National Incident Management System, or NIMS [released March 2004]. Together the NRP and the NIMS provide a nationwide template for working together to prevent or respond to threats and incidents regardless of cause, size, or complexity." [2][3]

"The National Response Plan establishes a comprehensive all-hazards approach to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents. The plan incorporates best practices and procedures from incident management disciplines—homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, firefighting, public works, public health, responder and recovery worker health and safety, emergency medical services, and the private sector—and integrates them into a unified structure. It forms the basis of how the federal government coordinates with state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector during incidents. It establishes protocols to help [4]

  • "Save lives and protect the health and safety of the public, responders, and recovery workers;
  • "Ensure security of the homeland;
  • "Prevent an imminent incident, including acts of terrorism, from occurring;
  • "Protect and restore critical infrastructure and key resources;
  • "Conduct law enforcement investigations to resolve the incident, apprehend the perpetrators, and collect and preserve evidence for prosecution and/or attribution;
  • "Protect property and mitigate damages and impacts to individuals, communities, and the environment; and
  • "Facilitate recovery of individuals, families, businesses, governments, and the environment."

Incidents of National Significance

"Incidents of National Significance", a "term coined within the NRP," are large-scale domestic emergencies. [5]

  • Biological Incident
  • Catastrophic Incident
  • Cyber Incident
  • Food and Agriculture Incident
  • Nuclear/Radiological Incident
  • Oil and Hazardous Materials Incident
  • Terrorism Incident: Law Enforcement and Investigation

Source: NIMS Letter of Instruction, August 18, 2004 (106-page pdf; page 4).

"The terms 'major disaster' and 'emergency' have the meanings given in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)." [6]

National Planning Scenarios

DRAFT Version 20.1: National Planning Scenarios. Created for Use in National, Federal, State, and Local Homeland Security Preparedness Activities, April 2005. (159-page pdf posted by the Washington Post.)

The National Planning Scenarios describes "'plausible terrorist attacks and natural disasters that would stretch the Nation's prevention and response capabilities.' The fifteen scenarios are 'meant to be representative of a broad range of potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters ... to help direct comprehensive preparedness planning efforts,' according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)," the Washington Post's William M. Arkin wrote September 14, 2005. He notes that hurricanes and natural disasters are only mentioned 2 times, while terrorism and WMD are mentioned 12 times.

The scenarios are:

  1. Nuclear Detonation: 10-Kiloton Improvised Nuclear Device
  2. Biological Attack: Aerosol Anthrax
  3. Biological Disease Outbreak: Pandemic Influenza
  4. Biological Attack: Plague
  5. Chemical Attack: Blister Agent
  6. Chemical Attack: Toxic Industrial Chemical
  7. Chemical Attack: Nerve Agent
  8. Chemical Attack: Chlorine Tank Explosion
  9. Natural Disaster: Major Earthquake
  10. Natural Disaster: Major Hurricane
  11. Radiological Attack: Radiological Dispersal Device
  12. Explosives Attack: Bombing Using Improvised Explosive Devices
  13. Biological Attack: Food Contamination
  14. Biological Attack: Foreign Animal Disease (Foot and Mouth Disease)
  15. Cyber Attack

Department of Homeland Security NRP Documents

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