This webpage provides information about the long-term community recovery planning process and the federal interagency Emergency Support Function #14 (ESF #14) created to facilitate this process.
Long-Term Community Recovery (LTCR) and ESF #14
Disaster recovery typically occurs in phases, with initial efforts dedicated to helping those affected meet immediate needs for housing, food and water. As homes and businesses are repaired, people return to work and communities continue with cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Many government agencies, voluntary organizations, and the private sector cooperate to provide assistance and support.
Some individuals, families and communities that are especially hard hit by a disaster may need more time and specialized assistance to recover, and a more formalized structure to support them. Specialized assistance may be needed to address unique needs that are not satisfied by routine disaster assistance programs. It may also be required for very complex restoration or rebuilding challenges. Community recovery addresses these ongoing needs by taking a holistic, long-term view of critical recovery needs, and coordinating the mobilization of resources at the federal, state, and community levels.
Oftentimes, committees, task forces or other means of collaboration are formed with the goals of developing specific plans for Community recovery, identifying and addressing unmet or specialized needs of individuals and families, locating funding sources, and providing coordination of the many sources of help that may be available to assist. Some collaborations focus on the community level and rely on the expertise of community planning and economic development professionals. Other collaborations focus on individual and family recovery and are coordinated by social service and volunteer groups. All such efforts hope to lay the groundwork for wise decisions about the appropriate use of resources and rebuilding efforts.
Under the National Response Framework, Emergency Support Function (ESF) #14 Community Recovery coordinates the resources of federal departments and agencies to support the long-term recovery of States and communities, and to reduce or eliminate risk from future incidents. While consideration of long-term recovery is imbedded in the routine administration of the disaster assistance and mitigation programs of FEMA and other Federal agencies, some incidents, due to the severity of the impacts and the complexity of the recovery, will require considerable interagency coordination and technical support.
ESF #14 efforts are driven by State/local priorities, focusing on permanent restoration of infrastructure, housing, and the local economy. When activated, ESF #14 provides the coordination mechanisms for the Federal government to:
Assess the social and economic consequences in the impacted area and coordinate Federal efforts to address Community recovery issues resulting from an Incident of National Significance;
Advise on the Community recovery implications of response activities, the transition from response to recovery in field operations, and facilitate recovery decision-making across ESFs;
Work with State, local, and tribal governments; NGOs; and private-sector organizations to conduct comprehensive market disruption and loss analysis and develop a forward looking market-based comprehensive long-term recovery plan for the affected community;
Identify appropriate Federal programs and agencies to support implementation of the Community recovery plan, ensure coordination, and identify gaps in resources available;
Avoid duplication of assistance, coordinate to the extent possible program application processes and planning requirements to streamline assistance, and identify and coordinate resolution of policy and program issues; and
Determine/identify responsibilities for recovery activities, and provide a vehicle to maintain continuity in program delivery among Federal departments and agencies, and with State, local, and tribal governments and other involved parties, to ensure follow-through of recovery and hazard mitigation efforts.
ESF #14, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is supported by four primary agencies including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development and Treasury, as well as the Small Business Administration. A number of other agencies serve in a support role.
Lessons in Community Recovery: ESF #14 Seven Year Report 2004-2011
ESF #14 LTCR has worked with more than 180 communities across 23 states, two Indian tribal governments and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico since it officially became an Emergency Support Function in late 2004. Approximately 60 teams, totaling more than 600 subject matter experts, supported tribal, state and community recovery efforts. As a result, some 90 community recovery plans, strategies or documents were produced, 18 local community recovery organizations were formed, and assistance was provided to 11 states to organize for recovery.