Skip main navigation

The US emergency preparedness framework

An article looking at the structure and operation of US emergency preparedness arrangements embodied in the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Another example of a preparedness framework is of that used in the USA. Despite having many similarities to the UK framework, there are differences in approach which affect how incidents are managed.

The disaster management response in the US is managed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA works with state emergency responders to manage events such as Hurricane Maria and the Californian bushfires, which you looked at last week.

First, read three sections from the ‘FEMA National Disaster Recovery Framework, second edition’ (Homeland Security 2016):

  1. Roles and responsibilities (pages 9–21)
  2. Core capabilities (pages 24–32)
  3. Coordinating structures and integration (pages 33–42)

Second, look at this CNN report ‘Irma: A hurricane for the history books’ (CNN 2017).

Your task

Investigate further how the US arrangements operated by FEMA were applied in the response to Hurricane Irma.
Based on the framework, who would be responsible and how would the response be coordinated?


Homeland Security (2016) National Disaster Recovery Framework. 2nd edn. [online] available from [11 May 2018]

CNN (2017) Irma: A hurricane for the history books. [online] available from [11 May 2018]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

Emergency Planning and Preparedness: An Introduction

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now