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Homeland Security Secretary Ridge Approves Initial National Response Plan

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 10, 2003

U. S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today announced approval of the Initial National Response Plan (INRP), an interim plan designed to help develop a unified approach to domestic incident management across the Nation.  The INRP represents a significant first step towards the overall goal of integrating the current family of Federal domestic prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery plans into a single all-hazards plan.  

"I commend the many dedicated professionals from state and local governments, law enforcement, and the fire and emergency management communities, tribal associations, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations across America who all worked with the Department to develop this initial unified plan," Ridge said.  "Their efforts and this Initial National Response Plan make America better prepared by integrating the emergency response plans that cover terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.  As this effort further evolves, our homeland security effort will be guided by the concept of one plan, one team, and one fight."

The Initial National Response Plan strengthens America's emergency response process by harmonizing existing Federal response plan activities with incident management leadership responsibilities assigned by President Bush to Secretary Ridge through Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5. As a result, our Nation's responders will now be supported with new incident management capability including:  

  • Establishment of a permanent Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) to serve as the primary national-level hub for domestic incident management communications and operations;
  • An Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG) during domestic incidents to facilitate national-level situation awareness, policy coordination, and incident coordination;
  • Designation of a Homeland Security Department Principal Federal Official (PFO) to oversee Federal assistance efforts locally during domestic incidents;
  • Establishment of a Joint Field Office during domestic incidents to better integrate the Federal response in support of state, and local authorities.

In addition to the new emergency planning measures established by the INRP, the Department of Homeland Security and responders from around the Nation continue development of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which will create additional standardized coordination procedures for incident managers.  A final National Response Plan is under development and will eventually replace the INRP.    

The attached fact sheet details major INRP enhancements and facts.  The INRP is also attached.