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This glossary contains terms and acronyms used in the National Disaster Recovery Framework.


ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended 2008.

ACHP – Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

ARC – American Red Cross.

Access and Functional Needs – Persons who may have additional needs before, during and after an incident in functional areas, including but not limited to: maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, and medical care. Individuals in need of additional response assistance may include those who have disabilities; live in institutionalized settings; are seniors; are children; are from diverse cultures; have limited English proficiency or are non-English speaking; or are transportation disadvantaged.

Access/Accessible – The suitability or adaptability of programs, services, activities, goods, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations provided by a public or private (for-profit or not-for-profit) entity, or by any entity to which it contracts for all members of the population, including individuals with disabilities.


CEQ – Council on Environmental Quality.

CIKR – Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources.

CNCS – Corporation for National and Community Service.

COG – Continuity of Governments.

COOP – Continuity of Operations.

CRCL – Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Capacity – A combination of all the strengths and resources available within a community, society or organization that can reduce the level of risk, or the effects of a disaster. (From the U N International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.)

Capacity Building – Efforts aimed to develop human skills or societal infrastructure within a community or organization needed to reduce the level of risk, or the effects of a disaster. (From the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.)

Catastrophic Incident – Any natural or man-made incident, including terrorism that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions. A catastrophic event could result in sustained national impacts over a prolonged period of time; almost immediately exceeds resources normally available to local, State, Tribal, and private sector authorities in the impacted area; and significantly interrupts governmental operations and emergency services to such an extent that national security could be threatened.

Community – A network of individuals and families, businesses, governmental and nongovernmental organizations and other civic organizations that reside or operate within a shared geographical boundary and may be represented by a common political leadership at a regional, county, municipal or neighborhood level.

Consumable Medical Supplies – Generally non-prescribed, nondurable, disposable, single-use medical supplies that are most beneficial to persons with a disability, illness, injury or functional need to maintain their level of independence.

Critical Infrastructure – Systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital that the incapacity or destruction of such may have a debilitating impact on the security, economy, public health or safety, environment, or any combination of these matters, across any local, State, Tribal and Federal jurisdiction.

Cultural Resources – Aspects of a cultural system that are valued by or significantly representative of a culture or that contain significant information about a culture. Cultural resources may be tangible entities or cultural practices. Tangible cultural resources are categorized as districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects for the National Register of Historic Places and as archeological resources, cultural landscapes, structures, museum objects and archives, and ethnographic resources for Federal management purposes. Also includes cultural items as that term is defined in section 2(3) of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act [25 USC 3001(3)]; and archeological resources, as that term is defined in section 3(1) of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 [16 USC 470bb(1)].


DA – Disaster Assistance.

DHS – Department of Homeland Security.

DOC – Department of Commerce.

DOD – Department of Defense.

DOE – Department of Energy.

DOI – Department of the Interior.

DOJ – Department of Justice.

DOL – Department of Labor.

DOT – Department of Transportation.

DPA – Defense Production Act

Debris - The remains of something broken down or destroyed.

Durable Medical Equipment – Multiuse medical equipment for the benefit of a person who has an illness, injury, disability or functional need to maintain their level of independence.


ED – Department of Education.

EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency.

ESF – Emergency Support Function.


FCC – Federal Communications Commission.

FCO – Federal Coordinating Officer.

FDRC – Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator.

FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Functional Needs – The needs of an individual who under usual circumstances is able to function on their own or with support systems. However, during an emergency, their level of independence is challenged.


GSA – General Services Administration.


HHS – Department of Health and Human Services.

HUD – Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Historic Properties – Any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, including artifacts, records and material remains which are related to such district, site, building, structure, or object. [(16 USC Section 70(w)(5)].


IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

IMLS – Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Individual with Disability – The term refers to a person (child or adult) who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a person who has a history or record of such impairment; or a person who is perceived by others as having such impairment. The term “disability” has the same meaning as that used in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008, P.L. 110 – 325, as incorporated into the ADA. See for the definition and specific changes to the text of the ADA. State laws and local ordinances may also include individuals outside the Federal definition. Children and adults may have physical, sensory, mental health, cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities resulting in access and functional needs and may require assistance to maintain independence.

Individual with Limited English Proficiency – The term refers to an individual who does not speak English as his/her primary language and who has a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English.

Intermediate Recovery – Phase of recovery which involves returning individuals, families, critical infrastructure and essential government or commercial services to a functional, if not pre-disaster, state. Such activities are often characterized by temporary actions that provide a bridge to permanent measures.


JFO – Joint Field Office.


LDRM – Local Disaster Recovery Manager.

LOC – Library of Congress.

LTCR – Long-Term Community Recovery

Long-Term Recovery – Phase of recovery that may continue for months or years and addresses complete redevelopment and revitalization of the impacted area, rebuilding or relocating damaged or destroyed social, economic, natural and built environments and a move to self-sufficiency, sustainability and resilience.


MOU – Memorandum of Understanding.

Major Disaster – As defined by the Stafford Act, any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought) or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under this act to supplement the efforts and available resources of local, State governments and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship or suffering caused thereby.

Mitigation – Capabilities necessary to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation capabilities include, but are not limited to, community-wide risk reduction projects; efforts to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure and key resource lifelines; risk reduction for specific vulnerabilities from natural hazards or acts of terrorism; and initiatives to reduce future risks after a disaster has occurred.


NCD – National Council on Disability

NCH – Natural and cultural resources and historic properties.

NCP – National Continuity Plan

NDHSNational Disaster Housing Strategy.

NDHTF – National Disaster Housing Task Force

NDRFNational Disaster Recovery Framework.

NDRP – National Disaster Recovery Planning

NDRPD – National Disaster Recovery Program Database.

NEA – National Endowment for the Arts.

NEH – National Endowment for the Humanities.

NFIP – National Flood Insurance Program.

NGO – Nongovernmental Organization.

NIMS – National Incident Management System.

NIPPNational Infrastructure Protection Plan.

NLRB – National Labor Relations Board

NPPD – National Protection Programs Directorate

78NRC – Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

NRFNational Response Framework.

NVOAD – National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Natural Resources – Land, fish, wildlife, biota and water. Water means salt and fresh water, surface and ground water used for drinking, irrigation, aquaculture and recreational purposes, as well as in its capacity as fish and wildlife habitat.

NGO – A nongovernmental entity that serves the interests of its members, individuals, or institutions and is not for private benefit.


OFAs – other Federal agencies


PKEMRA – Post-Katrina Emergency Management Act

POC – Point of contact


RISC – Regional Interagency Steering Committee.

RSF – Recovery Support Function.

Recovery – Those capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident to recover effectively, including, but not limited to, rebuilding infrastructure systems; providing adequate interim and long-term housing for survivors; restoring health, social, and community services; promoting economic development; and restoring natural and cultural resources.

Redevelopment – Rebuilding degraded, damaged or destroyed social, economic and physical infrastructure in a community, State or Tribal government to create the foundation for long-term development.

Resilience – Ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies.

Response – Those capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred.

Restoration – Returning a physical structure, essential government or commercial services or a societal condition back to a former or normal state of use through repairs, rebuilding or reestablishment.


SBA – Small Business Administration.

SCO – State Coordinating Officer.

SDRC – State Disaster Recovery Coordinator.

SME – Subject Matter Expert.

SOP – Standard Operating Procedure.

Short-Term Recovery – Phase of recovery which addresses the health and safety needs beyond rescue, the assessment of the scope of damages and needs, the restoration of basic infrastructure and the mobilization of recovery restarting and/or restoring essential services for recovery decision making.

Smart Planning – An urban planning and transportation theory that incorporates the concepts of smart growth and advocates for concentrating growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl and promotes compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices. It values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus.

Stabilization – The process by which the immediate impacts of an incident on community systems are managed and contained.

Steady-State – A state where operations and procedures are normal and ongoing. Communities are
considered to be at a steady-state prior to disasters and after recovery is complete.

Sustainability – Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


TDRC – Tribal Disaster Recovery Coordinator.

TREAS – Department of the Treasury.

TVA – Tennessee Valley Authority.


U.S. ACCESS BOARD – United States Access Board.

USACE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

USDA – U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USGS – United States Geological Survey

Underserved Populations/Communities – Groups that have limited or no access to resources or that are otherwise disenfranchised. These groups may include people who are socioeconomically disadvantaged; people with limited English proficiency; geographically isolated or educationally disenfranchised people; people of color as well as those of ethnic and national origin minorities; women and children; individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs; and seniors.


VA – Department of Veterans Affairs.

VAL – Voluntary Agency Liaison.

VALS – Voluntary Agency Liaison Specialist.

Last Updated: 
02/23/2016 - 08:55