When a disaster is declared, the federal government, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), responds at the request and in support of states, tribes, territories and island areas and local jurisdictions affected by a disaster. The primary and sovereign responsibility for responding to disasters and crises lies with state authorities. These authorities — national, provincial, district, local (and traditional) — vary considerably in their capacity to coordinate and implement the provision of assistance and protection to their population. Increasingly, governments in crisis-prone areas have created a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) or have developed the capacity to organize an ad hoc coordination approach, for example, through an Incident Management System (IMS).
When they exist, international crisis response actors and structures (for example, these detachments) can be transported nationwide and can work together to support a large field office in the event of a disaster and multiple field operations sites within the disaster area. The council is responsible for ensuring the protection and well-being of people during disasters or emergencies. Translated into 27 languages, the Help After a Disaster brochure is a tool that can be shared in your community to help people understand the types of FEMA assistance that may be available to help individuals and families recover from a disaster. They will cordon off the disaster area, direct traffic, and sometimes establish a safety zone around the disaster area.
The CERT program teaches local volunteers about disaster preparedness for hazards that may affect their area and they are trained in basic disaster response skills. If a disaster exceeds the capacity of the FEMA disaster workforce, the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to activate the DHS SCF to change the federal response to a catastrophic disaster. They can quickly set up a center for survivors to request assistance, which is known as a mobile disaster recovery center. It is important for public safety agencies (such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire services) to be able to provide and maintain communications before, during, and after a disaster or emergency.
Disaster assistance is financial or direct aid to individuals, families and businesses whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance.