Homeland Security Secretary Ridge Approves Initial National Response Plan

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For Immediate ReleaseOffice of the Press SecretaryOctober 10, 2003

U. S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today announced approval ofthe Initial National Response Plan (INRP), an interim plan designed to help develop aunified approach to domestic incident management across the Nation.  The INRPrepresents a significant first step towards the overall goal of integrating the currentfamily of Federal domestic prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery plans into asingle all-hazards plan.  

"I commend the many dedicated professionals from state and local governments, lawenforcement, and the fire and emergency management communities, tribal associations, theprivate sector, and non-governmental organizations across America who all worked with theDepartment to develop this initial unified plan," Ridge said.  "Theirefforts and this Initial National Response Plan make America better prepared byintegrating the emergency response plans that cover terrorist attacks, major disasters,and other emergencies.  As this effort further evolves, our homeland security effortwill be guided by the concept of one plan, one team, and one fight."

The Initial National Response Plan strengthens America's emergency response process byharmonizing existing Federal response plan activities with incident management leadershipresponsibilities assigned by President Bush to Secretary Ridge through Homeland SecurityPresidential Directive 5. As a result, our Nation's responders will now be supported withnew incident management capability including:  

  • Establishment of a permanent Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) to serve as the primary national-level hub for domestic incident management communications and operations;
  • An Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG) during domestic incidents to facilitate national-level situation awareness, policy coordination, and incident coordination;
  • Designation of a Homeland Security Department Principal Federal Official (PFO) to oversee Federal assistance efforts locally during domestic incidents;
  • Establishment of a Joint Field Office during domestic incidents to better integrate the Federal response in support of state, and local authorities.

In addition to the new emergency planning measures established by the INRP, theDepartment of Homeland Security and responders from around the Nation continue developmentof the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which will create additionalstandardized coordination procedures for incident managers.  A final NationalResponse Plan is under development and will eventually replace the INRP.