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Response and Recovery Resources

Key Definitions

  • Response: Response activities address the short-term, direct effects of an incident. Response includes immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency operations plans and of mitigation activities designed to limit the loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and other unfavorable outcomes.
  • Recovery: Recovery includes the development, coordination, and execution of service- and site-restoration plans; the reconstitution of government operations and services; individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public assistance programs to provide housing and to promote restoration; long-term care and treatment of affected persons; additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration; evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned; postincident reporting; and development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents.


Click on a link below to access mitigation resources.

National Incident Management System

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment.

Additional NIMS resources are available on the NIMS Resource Center Web site: www.fema.gov/nims 

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Emergency Response – National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

The Emergency Response document lists resources available from the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF). The resources include the information and tools that schools should prepare in order to respond to an emergency.

Additional resources are available at the NCEF Web site: www.ncef.org

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Incident Command System Resources 

The following Incident Command System (ICS) resources summarize key features of ICS and NIMS.

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IS-100.SCa, Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) developed the Introduction to ICS for Schools course (IS-100.SCa) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education. The course is designed primarily for kindergarten through high school personnel.

The overall course goal is to promote school safety by:

  • Familiarizing you with how ICS principles can be applied in school-based incidents.
  • Preparing you to interface with community response personnel.

Additional information about EMI Independent Study courses is available at the EMI Web site: training.fema.gov

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Recovery Guides

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Response and Recovery Resources

Psychological Healing

Developing After-Action Reports/Improvement Plans

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