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FEMA Announces Operational Guidance for Disaster Response and Recovery in Pandemic Environment

Release Date Release Number
HQ-21-108
Release Date:
May 17, 2021

WASHINGTON -- For the second year in a row, FEMA is prepared to respond to disasters as the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

FEMA released the “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance: All-Hazards Incident Response and Recovery,” a document aimed at helping emergency managers plan for disaster response and recovery, while adhering to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more than a year, the emergency management community has been operating in a pandemic environment, and FEMA has emphasized the importance of all state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments applying lessons learned from 2020, as they prepare for operations in 2021. To aid in that effort, this document serves as a tool for governments, outlining not only guidance based on lessons learned and best practices, but also guidance related to new priorities that have arisen in recent months. This document builds upon the guidance released last year and:

FEMA is offering a series of webinars throughout the month of June to further educate people on the pandemic operational guidance:

  • Webinar 1 – 10 a.m. ET, Thursday, June 3.
  • Webinar 2 – 3 p.m. ET, Tuesday, June 8.
  • Webinar 3 – 11 a.m. ET, Thursday, June 10.
  • Webinar 4 – 7 p.m. ET, Wednesday, June 16.
  • Webinar 5 – 1 p.m. ET, Thursday, June 17.

FEMA will continue operating under the framework of locally executed, state/tribal managed and federal supported incident response. By creating a shared understanding of expectations among FEMA and state, local, tribal and territorial partners, the nation will be better positioned to achieve operational outcomes in disaster response and recovery efforts.

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Last updated May 21, 2021