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Appendix D: Support Functions

Emergency Support Functions (ESFs)

ESFs provide the structure for coordinating federal interagency support for a federal response to an incident. ESFs serve as a means of grouping functions that provide federal support to states and federal-to-federal support, both for Stafford Act declared disasters and emergencies and for non-Stafford Act incidents.

Emergency Support FunctionPurpose
ESF #1 – TransportationProvides support by assisting SLTT, insular area, federal governmental entities, voluntary organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector in the management of transportation systems and infrastructure during domestic threats or in response to actual or potential incidents.
ESF #2 – CommunicationsSupports the restoration of communications infrastructure, coordinates communications support to response efforts, facilitates the delivery of information to emergency management decision makers, and assists in the stabilization and reestablishment of systems and applications during incidents.
ESF #3 – Public Works and Engineering  Coordinates and organizes the resources of the federal government to facilitate the delivery of multiple core capabilities.
ESF #4 – Firefighting  Provides federal support for the detection and suppression of wildland, rural, and urban fires resulting from, or occurring coincidentally with, an all-hazard incident requiring a coordinated national response for assistance.
ESF #5 — Information and Planning  Collects, analyzes, processes, and disseminates information about a potential or actual incident, and conducts deliberate and crisis action planning activities to facilitate the overall activities in providing assistance to the whole community.
ESF #6 – Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Temporary Housing, and Human ServicesCoordinates and provides life-sustaining resources, essential services, and statutory programs when the needs of disaster survivors exceed SLTT and insular area government capabilities.
ESF #7 – Logistics  Integrates whole community logistics incident planning and support for timely and efficient delivery of supplies, equipment, services, and facilities. It also facilitates comprehensive logistics planning, technical assistance, training, education, exercise, incident response, and sustainment that leverage the capability and resources of federal logistics partners, public and private stakeholders, and NGOs in support of both responders and disaster survivors
ESF #8 – Public Health and Medical Services  Provides the mechanism for federal assistance to supplement SLTT and insular area resources in response to a disaster, emergency, or incident that may lead to a public health, medical, behavioral, or human service emergency, including those that have international implications.
ESF #9 – Search and Rescue (SAR)Deploys federal SAR resources to provide lifesaving assistance to SLTT and insular area authorities, including local SAR coordinators and mission coordinators, when there is an actual or anticipated request for federal SAR assistance.
ESF #10 – Oil and Hazardous Materials Response  Provides federal support in response to an actual or potential discharge and/or release of oil or hazardous materials when activated.
ESF #11 – Agriculture and Natural Resources  Organizes and coordinates federal support for the protection of the nation’s agricultural and natural and cultural resources during national emergencies. ESF #11 works during actual and potential incidents to provide nutrition assistance; respond to animal and agricultural health issues; provide technical expertise, coordination, and support of animal and agricultural emergency management; ensure the safety and defense of the nation’s supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products; and ensure the protection of natural and cultural resources and historic properties.
ESF #12 – EnergyProvides support to the DHS by assisting FSLTT government entities, NGOs, and the private sector through coordination of government capabilities, services, technical assistance, and engineering expertise during disasters and incidents that require a coordinated federal response. The term “energy” includes producing, storing, refining, transporting, generating, transmitting, conserving, building, distributing, maintaining, and controlling energy systems and system components.
ESF #13 – Public Safety and SecurityProvides federal public safety and security assistance to FSLTT organizations overwhelmed by the results of an actual or anticipated natural/man-made disaster or an act of terrorism.
ESF #14 - Cross-Sector Business and InfrastructureSupports the coordination of cross-sector operations, including stabilization of key supply chains and community lifelines, among infrastructure owners and operators, businesses, and their government partners.
ESF #15 – External AffairsProvides accurate, coordinated, timely, and accessible information to affected audiences, including governments, media, the private sector, and the local populace, including children; those with disabilities and others with access and functional needs; and individuals with limited English proficiency.

Recovery Support Functions (RSFs)

In the recovery phase of incident management, the RSFs support local governments by facilitating problem solving, improving access to resources, and fostering coordination among state and federal agencies, non-governmental partners, and stakeholders.

Recovery Support FunctionCoordinating AgencyPurpose
Community Planning and Capacity Building (CPCB)FEMASupports the needs of impacted SLTT governments’ ability to plan for, engage the community, and build capacity through planning technical assistance, program support, or funding for planning and capacity building-related initiatives.
EconomicU.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)Supports SLTT governments and the private sector to sustain and/or rebuild businesses, foster employment, and develop economic opportunities that result in sustainable and economically resilient communities after an incident.
Health and Social ServicesHHSSupports SLTT recovery efforts to address public health, healthcare facilities and coalitions, and essential social services needs for at-risk and vulnerable children, individuals, and families displaced by an incident or disaster.  
HousingU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)Coordinates and facilitates the delivery of federal resources to implement housing solutions supporting the needs of the whole community, contributing to sustainability and resilience.
Infrastructure Systems  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)Facilitates the restoration of infrastructure systems and services through funding and technical assistance to support a viable, sustainable community and improve resilience to and protection from future hazards.
Natural & Cultural ResourcesU.S. Department of Interior (DOI)Facilitates the integration of federal capabilities to support the protection of natural and cultural resources and historic properties through appropriate response and recovery actions to preserve, conserve, rehabilitate, and restore according to post-disaster community priorities and in compliance with applicable environmental and historical preservation laws and executive orders.