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FEMA Region IX: Response Division

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This section of the site contains information on FEMA Region 9 Response division.

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Arizona | American Samoa | California 
CNMI | Guam | Hawaii | Nevada

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Response Division Mission

San Diego, Calif., October 26, 2007 -- Northern California fire crews set fire back burn to stop the Poomacha fire from advancing westward. Currently the fires in Southern California have burned more than 355,000 acres. FEMA photo/Andrea Booher Region 9 primarily serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada; the American territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam; and Tribal Nations within those borders. Region 9 personnel also assist the rest of the Nation by providing support to other parts of the country as needed.

The Region 9 Response Division coordinates and provides the core Federal disaster response capability needed to save lives, reduce suffering, and protect property in communities that have been overwhelmed by the impact of a major disaster or emergency, regardless of cause.

The Response Division leads several program areas: Operations (including a watch center, response center and field teams), Planning, Logistics, and Disaster Communications.

Monterey, Calif., July 2, 2008, R to L Special Assistant William Booher, FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison, Regional Administrator Nancy Ward, and Division Director of Disaster Assistance Bob Fenton de-board a C-130 in route to a press briefing in Big Sur. FEMA and The Office of The Governor held a joint press conference regarding the response to the wildfires. FEMA/Adam DuBrowa Division Director
Justin Dombrowski

Executive Assistant
Jean Johnson


Operations Branch

Fernley, Nev., January 10, 2008 -- A front end loader dumps debris into a dump truck in this Fernley neighborhood. Flood demaged debris and damaged household material is being cleared. Approximately 200 homes were impacted by flooding from the rain swollen canal which broke. George Armstrong/FEMAThe Operations Branch coordinates, integrates and implements disaster operations programs and activities, including the Regional Watch Center (RWC), Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC), and Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT). The Operations branch also coordinates with other federal agencies for training and exercises. For Response Division personnel, it manages performance measurement and after-action reviews.

During actual events or incidents, the Operations Branch is responsible for coordinating and tasking other federal agencies under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Operations Manager
Mark Armstrong

Honolulu, Hawaii, November 9, 2006 -- Young Brothers Planning Manager Jeffrey Low facilatates a tour with a Mitigation Inspection team lead by FEMA's Diane Earl and State of Hawaii's Gary Greenly. The FEMA sponsored generator powers specialized cooling containers that keep the perishable suppy from spoiling after recent earthquakes shut down power to pier 39. Adam DuBrowa/FEMA. Regional Watch Center (RWC)

The Region 9 Regional Watch Center (RWC) provides 24/7 operations that maintain national situational awareness of potential or developing events that require a coordinated federal response up to and including Incidents of National Significance that occur in its area of responsibility.

The RWC provides FEMA Region 9 leadership with critical operational information collection, information analysis, and resource coordination support on a daily basis.  The Region 9 RWC consists of Watch Officers stationed in Oakland, California and Honolulu, Hawaii to provide continuous coverage for potentially emerging situations.

Response Watch Branch Chief
Robert Scripp

Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC)

Oakland, Calif., April 10, 2013 -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partners and staff gather in the FEMA Region 9 Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) during day two of the Golden Guardian training exercise.  Golden Guardian is an annual, state-wide simulation giving tribes, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private sector partners the chance to evaluate response plans developed by FEMA Region 9 and the Calfornia Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA).  Chris Couch/FEMA CorpsThe Region 9 Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) serves as the Federal Government’s immediate all-hazards emergency coordination center in an affected region immediately leading up to a disaster, following a disaster or catastrophic event, and for special security events.  The RRCC will take responsibility for specific events upon notification from the RWC and Region 9 leadership.

The RRCC is a multi-agency coordination site that integrates operations of FEMA program staff, federal interagency representatives, a Department of Defense Coordination Element, private sector liaisons, planning, informational analysis, resource management and logistics, and geospatial information system (GIS) support into a unified team that activates as needed.

The RRCC team acts as the heart of disaster response in the early hours and days before and after a disaster.  The RRCC team coordinates federal response efforts until a Presidentially-designated Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) assumes operational control at a Joint Field Office (JFO).

RRCC Team Lead
Kevin Cavanaugh

Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT)

FEMA Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) members receive flight instructions on-board a C-17 aircraft from a flight crew member from the 621st Contingency Response Wing during a Operational Readiness Exercise at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Exercises like these increase preparedness and training for these emergency response teams. FEMA/Michael Mancino The Region 9 Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) support response operations before an impending incident like a hurricane, following a no-notice incident like an earthquake and for special events.  Region 9 has two IMATs to cover the large area of the region that may have events in more than one location . Once deployed, the IMAT will support leadership in managing federal response operations.

Each IMAT has four to twenty people who will immediately deploy to support an incident in different program specialties.  IMAT personnel train, exercise and deploy as a team and can operate in areas impacted by disaster.

While not deployed, IMAT personnel support FEMA programs, initiatives and projects related to response operations. They also provide outreach to regional states and territories to strengthen relationships.

Planning Branch

Vacaville, Calif., Feb. 22, 2006- FEMA Community Relations specialists knock on doors and pass out registration information to Solano County communities that were damaged by recent flooding. Photo by Adam DuBrowa.The Region 9 Planning Branch leads disaster response planning including the development of operational plans and plans during an incident.  Most deliberate plans outline strategies for responding to specific disaster types in specific locations.

During response operations, Planning Branch personnel collect, analyze, and share information to support planning and decision-making. 

The Planning Branch also oversees GIS capabilities and products for the region.  This includes maps, graphics and other tools that aid in making plans, responding to disasters and decision making.

Planning Branch Chief
Dennis McKeown

Logistics Branch

The Region 9 Logistics Branch provides logistics support in the areas of logistics operations; logistics planning and exercises; supply chain and property management; and logistics information and resource tracking systems.

Minden, La., Oct. 28, 2012 -- A Louisiana National Guard Logistics Member loads water onto a trailer at the Camp Minden warehouse in preparations for Hurricane Sandy as a FEMA Corp Member helps by logging and identifying the pallets. Photo taken by Daniel Llargues/FEMA. The Logistics Branch provides oversight and coordination in meeting all support needs for disaster incidents and selected special events, including ordering resources through appropriate procurement. It provides facilities, transportation, supplies, equipment maintenance and fueling, food service, communications, and medical services for incident personnel.

Logistics Branch Chief
Shawn Matz

Disaster Emergency Communications (DEC)

Hattiesburg, Miss., Feb. 16, 2013 -- FEMA's Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) vehicles are providing initial communications support to the first Disaster Recovery Centers open in Hattiesburg. MERS are used in the FEMA Disaster Response Mission, providing logistical, life support, operations, and telecommunication support during the early stages of disaster response activities. Photo by Marilee Caliendo/FEMA The Region 9 Disaster Emergency Communications (DEC) program provides tactical disaster emergency communications  to support disaster response  within the Region. The DEC lead acts as the chair to the Regional Emergency Communications Committee Working Group (RECCWG), whose group members advise regional Federal, State, Tribal, local government on matters pertaining to emergency communications.

DEC also works with states and territories on disaster warning communication systems and disaster communication plans.


Disaster Emergency Communications Lead
David Benoit

Links to Region 9 Catastrophic Incident Plans

Southern California Catastrophic Earthquake Response Plan

San Francisco Bay Area Earthquake Response Plan

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Last Updated: 
03/17/2015 - 08:14
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