National Disaster Recovery Framework: Overview

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The National Disaster Recovery Framework

The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) is a conceptual guide designed to ensure coordination and recovery planning at all levels of government before a disaster, and defines how we will work together, following a disaster, to best meet the needs of states, local and tribal governments and communities and individuals in their recoveries. For the first time, the framework establishes coordination structures, defines leadership roles and responsibilities, and guides coordination and recovery planning at all levels of government before a disaster happens. It involves better utilization of existing resources.

Recovery Support Functions

The National Disaster Recovery Framework introduces six recovery support functions that are led by designated federal coordinating agencies. The Recovery Support Functions (RSFs) comprise the coordinating structure for key functional areas of assistance. Their purpose is to support local governments by facilitating problem solving, improving access to resources and fostering coordination among state and federal agencies, nongovernmental partners and stakeholders. The Recovery Support Functions and designated federal coordinating agencies are:

  • Community Planning and Capacity Building: Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Economic: U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Health and Social Services: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Housing: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Infrastructure Systems: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Natural and Cultural Resources: U.S. Department of Interior

Leading Recovery

The framework identifies and recommends key recovery positions designed to allow for more concentrated focus on community recovery. These positions include a Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator (when warranted in large-scale or catastrophic disasters), State/Tribal Disaster Recovery Coordinators and Local Disaster Recovery Managers.

Addressing the Needs of the Whole Community

The framework incorporates whole community values, with emphasis on core principles, such as individual and family empowerment and partnership and inclusiveness. The National Disaster Recovery Framework outlines how important state, local and tribal leadership and participation of community members in decision-making and coordinated engagement of a wide array of supporting organizations is critical for successful recovery.

Stakeholder Review and Comment

The framework was developed in partnership, and through extensive outreach, with Federal, state, local and tribal governments, private and non-profit partners who have a stake in immediate and ongoing recovery following a disaster. Outreach sessions that began in fall 2009 resulted in thousands of comments and recommendations from more than 600 stakeholders representing Federal, Tribal, state and local governments, public and private organizations, including communities recovering from disasters. This feedback informed the development of the draft National Disaster Recovery Framework.

In January 2010, the draft National Disaster Recovery Framework was published in the Federal Register for public comment. FEMA reviewed the more than 2,000 comments to further refine the final version of the National Disaster Recovery Framework.


This framework, which helps to better define how we, as a Nation, will approach recovery, is not a finish line, but just one part of our ongoing mission to better meet the needs of disaster survivors. We will continue to work with all of our stakeholders on ways to improve our programs, and better partner with the entire team, in our common goal to support communities as they recover.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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