Essay on The National Response Framework (NRF)

At times of disaster, the National Response Framework (NRF) offers instructions on how state or government authorities in charge of disaster mitigation should respond.

The instructions take the form of what are known as Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). ESF is the conglomeration of governmental and certain private sector proclivities into an administrative edifice to provide assistance, resources, program execution, and services required in saving lives, safeguarding property, and the environment (FEMA, 2015). They also help in restoring the critical amenities and vital infrastructure and assist the victims and the public to return to normalcy after the occurrence of local hazards. Each ESF has a Federal subdivision recognized as its controller. Therefore, in the event of an emergency, the organizing agency composes and activates a team accountable for working closely with the relevant state and local bureaucrats to ascertain unmet reserve needs in its response and salvage operations (Office of Homeland Security, 2015).

There are 15 classifications of ESFs, and each of them has specified functions and contents.

The paper will discuss the functions and contents of ESF#2- Communications.

Functions and Contents of ESF# 2- Communications

With the realization that proper and effective communication is quite critical in emergency management, ESF# 2 got developed by the NRF to ensure that communication flows freely among the relevant departments for necessary action. It mainly targets the use of IT by local and federal agencies and ensures that the systems of communication are secured from any external aggression in the form of cyber-attacks and any other kind of attack on the systems. The functions of the ESF include, first, the coordination of efforts aimed at restoring the communications infrastructure, facilitating the system recovery and other application from cyber-attacks. It also coordinates Federal communications support to rejoinder efforts in case of occurrence of incidents that require a coordinated Federal response (FEMA, 2010).

Secondly, ESF# 2 provides communications support to state, local, tribal or Federal administrations as well as first responders in case their systems have gotten impacted. Thirdly, it helps in describing the manner in which communications get availed to persons with communication infirmities involved in emergency operations, by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Furthermore, ESF# 2 helps in describing the procedure and process of providing and maintaining a 24-hour communications system aimed at dealing with emergencies in the local or Federal levels. It also helps in highlighting the efficient and actions to be taken in notifying neighboring jurisdictions of an occurrence of an incident that may require their attention and action. The support function also offers support related to communication to the Joint Field Officer (JFO) and JFO field squads. The communications are vital because it assists the officers and their teams to avoid conflicting tasks and concentrate only on those actions that can help in mitigating the disaster (FEMA, 2010).

The ESF#2 has various contents as provided for by the NRF that is responsible for its drafting. These contents include communication strategies by communication authorities and how to implement them; and tactics to secure information and systems from attack and also how to deal with the threat of cyber-attacks. It also contains the specific guidelines regarding communication from various departments involved in its jurisdiction. The support function also provides guidelines on communication security set out by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). It also contains detailed instructions and description on how the emergency teams ought to help victims with disabilities during emergencies as highlighted by ADA (FEMA, 2010). EFS# 2 also contains statements and declarations by all concerned departments and agencies on the need to maintain effective and proper communication during crises. The tactics of maintaining the plan and executing the communication are also contained in this support function (Office of Homeland Security, 2015).

In conclusion, the NRF uses ESF#2 to ensure that communication flows freely within the agencies involved in the management of disasters.

Its functions are critical to the functioning of emergency and recovery operations. Its contents are also important since they demonstrate the organization as efficient and responsible in all its actions.


FEMA (November 2010). Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans: Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101. USA: FEMA.

FEMA (2015). IS-802: Emergency Support Functions (ESF) #2 - Communications. Retrieved on May 20th, 2017 from

Office of Homeland Security (2015). Emergency Support Function 2 Communications Allen County Preparedness System Planning Frameworks - Response Emergency Support Function Annex. Indiana, USA: Allen County Office of Homeland Security. Retrieved May 20th, 2017 from

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