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Community Lifelines

What are Community Lifelines?

lifelines 2.0
A lifeline enables the continuous operation of critical government and business functions and is essential to human health and safety or economic security.
  • Lifelines are the most fundamental services in the community that, when stabilized, enable all other aspects of society to function.
  • FEMA has developed a construct for objectives-based response that prioritizes the rapid stabilization of Community Lifelines after a disaster.
  • The integrated network of assets, services, and capabilities that provide lifeline services are used day-to-day to support the recurring needs of the community and enable all other aspects of society to function.
  • When disrupted, decisive intervention (e.g., rapid re-establishment or employment of contingency response solutions) is required to stabilize the incident.

Why We Use Lifelines

FEMA created Community Lifelines to reframe incident information, understand and communicate incident impacts using plain language, and promote unity of effort across the whole community to prioritize efforts to stabilize the lifelines during incident response.

While lifelines were developed to support response planning and operations, the concept can be applied across the entire preparedness cycle. Efforts to protect lifelines, prevent and mitigate potential impacts to them, and building back stronger and smarter during recovery will drive overall resilience of the nation. Stay tuned for further updates on the community lifelines!

Toolkit 2.0

For comprehensive information and resources for implementing lifelines during incident response, visit the Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit 2.0.

National Response Framework

The National Response Framework 4th Edition formalizes the lifelines within national-level policy. See the NRF 4th Edition by visiting the National Planning Frameworks section at


Last Updated: 
03/27/2020 - 17:49