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Emergency Support Function Annexes
Recovery Function
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Emergency Support Function #6 Mass Care Annex

In PDF format

Primary Agency:  American Red Cross
Support Agencies: Department of Agriculture
Department of Defense
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Veterans Affairs
Federal Emergency Management Agency
General Services Administration
U.S. Postal Service

  1. Introduction

  2.  
    1. Purpose

    2. Emergency Support Function (ESF) #6 — Mass Care coordinates Federal assistance in support of State and local efforts to meet the mass care needs of victims of a disaster.  This Federal assistance will support the delivery of mass care services of shelter, feeding, and emergency first aid to disaster victims; the establishment of systems to provide bulk distribution of emergency relief supplies to disaster victims; and the collection of information to operate a Disaster Welfare Information (DWI) system for the purpose of reporting victim status and assisting in family reunification.
       

    3. Scope
       
      1. This annex describes the response actions of ESF #6 and the responsibilities of primary and support agencies in accomplishing those response actions in support of the delivery of mass care services by State and local governments.  The American Red Cross (ARC) independently provides mass care services to disaster victims as part of a broad program of disaster relief, as outlined in charter provisions enacted by the U.S. Congress, Act of January 5, 1905.  The responsibilities assigned to the ARC as the primary agency for ESF #6 at no time will supersede those responsibilities assigned to the ARC by its congressional charter.

      2.  
      3. Initial response activities will focus on meeting urgent needs of disaster victims on a mass care basis.  Initial recovery efforts may commence as response activities are taking place.  As recovery operations are introduced, close coordination will be required between those Federal agencies responsible for recovery operations and voluntary organizations providing recovery assistance, including the ARC.

      4.  
      5. ESF #6 encompasses:

      6.  
        1. Shelter

        2. Emergency shelter for disaster victims includes the use of pre-identified shelter sites in existing structures; creation of temporary facilities or the temporary construction of shelters; and use of similar facilities outside the disaster-affected area, should evacuation be necessary.
           

        3. Feeding

        4. Feeding will be provided to disaster victims and emergency workers through a combination of fixed sites, mobile feeding units, and bulk distribution of food.  Such operations will be based on sound nutritional standards and will include meeting requirements of disaster victims with special dietary needs.
           

        5. Emergency First Aid

        6. Emergency first aid will be provided to disaster victims and workers at mass care facilities and at designated sites within the disaster area.  This service will be supplemental to emergency health and medical services established to meet the needs of disaster victims.
           

        7. Disaster Welfare Information

        8. DWI regarding individuals residing within the affected area will be collected and provided to immediate family members outside the affected area through a DWI system.  DWI will also be provided to aid in reunification of family members within the affected area who were separated at the time of the disaster.
           

        9. Bulk Distribution of Emergency Relief Items

        10. Sites will be established within the affected area for bulk distribution of emergency relief items to meet urgent needs of disaster victims.
           

      7. ESF #6 does not include recovery activities.  (As a private, nonprofit organization, the ARC independently provides recovery assistance under its congressional charter.)

      8.  
  3. Policies

  4.  
    1. All mass care activities and services will be provided without regard to economic status or racial, religious, political, ethnic, or other affiliation.

    2.  
    3. All mass care activities and services will be provided in accordance with existing Federal statutes, rules, and regulations.

    4.  
    5. Federal support agency personnel assigned to ESF #6 will work in accordance with their parent agency rules and regulations, and will be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours following a disaster occurrence.

    6.  
    7. The ARC Disaster Services, National Headquarters, will coordinate ESF #6 planning activities to ensure an immediate and automatic ESF #6 response.

    8.  
    9. Actions initiated by ARC chapters and its national headquarters in response to a disaster event are independent of actions taken by the ARC as the primary agency for ESF #6.

    10.  
  5. Situation

  6.  
      1. Disaster Condition

      2.  
        1. The magnitude of damage to structures and lifelines will rapidly overwhelm the capacity of State and local governments to assess the disaster and respond effectively to basic and emergency human needs.  Damage to roads, airports, communications systems, etc., will hamper emergency response efforts.  The movement of emergency supplies will be seriously impeded.  Many professional emergency workers and others who normally would help during a disaster will be dead, injured, involved with family problems resulting from the disaster, or unable to reach their assigned posts.  State, county, and municipal emergency facilities will be severely damaged or inaccessible.

        2.  
        3. Hundreds of thousands of disaster victims will be forced from their homes, depending on such factors as time of occurrence, area demographics, building construction, and existing weather conditions.  There will be large numbers of dead and injured, which also may leave a large number of specialized population groups (e.g., elderly, children) without support.  Thousands of family members may be separated immediately following a sudden-impact disaster, such as children in school and parents at work.  Thousands of transients, such as tourists, students, and foreign visitors, may be involved.

        4.  
      3. Planning Assumptions

      4.  
        1. A major disaster or emergency occurs that produces significant casualties and widespread damage.

        2.  
        3. Mass care facilities will receive priority consideration for structural inspections to ensure safety of occupants.

        4.  
        5. Mass care operations and logistical support requirements will be given high priority by Federal agencies.

        6.  
      5. Planning Factors

      6.  
        1. The nature and extent of the disaster require a planned, immediate, and automatic response from the entire emergency management community.

        2.  
        3. Individuals in areas of high risk are expected to have prepared for and be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours.

        4.  
        5. Local units of voluntary agencies active in disaster will to the maximum extent possible provide immediate feeding, shelter, and emergency first aid services in response to the disaster event under their own auspices and authorities.  These units will plan to provide these services without external support for at least the first 72 hours following the onset of a disaster.

        6.  
        7. The ESF #6 planning basis for sheltering is that approximately 20 percent of the affected population will seek public shelter.  Some victims will find shelter with friends and relatives, some will leave the area, and some will remain at or near their damaged homes.

        8.  
        9. A certain percentage of the sheltered population will require shelter for an extended period of time.

        10.  
        11. The restoration of communications systems, disrupted by damages and overloads, may take weeks.

        12.  
  7. Concept of Operations

  8.  
    1. General

    2.  
      1. ESF #6 will work directly with its State functional or agency counterpart to provide the support needed as identified by the State.  Requests for assistance will be channeled from local jurisdictions through a designated State liaison to the Federal Coordinating Officer or designee and then to ESF #6 for action.  Assistance will be provided from ESF #6 to the State, or at the State’s request, directly to an affected local jurisdiction.

      2.  
      3. The ARC will deploy administrative staff to establish a temporary field headquarters for ESF #6 to support initial response.  The field headquarters staff will immediately establish a direct reporting link with ARC Disaster Services at National Headquarters.  This response includes deploying staff with the Advance Element of the Emergency Response Team (ERT-A) and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Operations Center (ROC), as well as convening the ESF #6 regional element.

      4.  
      5. ESF #6 leadership will convene at the ARC National Headquarters following Federal Response Plan implementation to evaluate the situation, implement plans established to support mass care operations, and consider and respond to requests for mass care-related resources.

      6.  
    3. Organization

    4.  
      1. National-Level Response Support Structure

      2.  
        1. The ESF #6 staff will operate under the direction of the Senior Vice President, Chapter Services, of the ARC at National Headquarters in Washington, DC.  The ARC National Headquarters will provide administrative support to the ESF #6 staff.

        2.  
        3. The Senior Vice President, Chapter Services, will represent ESF #6 as a member of the Catastrophic Disaster Response Group (CDRG).

        4.  
        5. Representatives of all agencies designated to support ESF #6 will be available on a 24-hour basis for the duration of the emergency response period.

        6.  
      3. Regional-Level Response Structure

      4.  
        1. The regional-level response structure may be composed of representatives at the ROC and representatives on the ERT-A.  When fully operational, the regional-level response structure includes the ESF #6 section in the Disaster Field Office (DFO).

        2.  
        3. Liaisons from Federal support agencies will be available to the ESF #6 section at the DFO as necessary, and available on a 24-hour basis for the duration of the emergency response period.

        4.  
        5. Liaisons from ESF #6 to other ESFs and/or related functions will be identified and deployed by the ESF #6 section in the DFO.

        6.  
    5. Activation

    6.  
      1. The FEMA National Emergency Coordination Center will activate ESF #6 by  contacting the ARC Disaster Operations Center, which will activate agencies whose support is required.

      2.  
      3. This activation may include deploying staff to the Emergency Support Team (EST) at FEMA Headquarters, the affected ROC, the ERT-A, and the full ERT.

      4.  
  9. Response Actions

  10.  
    1. Initial Actions

    2.  
      1. The national ESF #6 response structure will:

      2.  
        1. Assess the disaster situation and forecast mass care response needs;

        2.  
        3. Provide technical assistance to the regional ESF #6 section and EST; and

        4.  
        5. Validate requests from the regional ESF #6 section for mass care resources.

        6.  
      3. The regional ESF #6 section will:

      4.  
        1. Establish communications with the national ESF #6 response structure;

        2.  
        3. Assess the disaster situation and determine the adequacy of mass care response activities;

        4.  
        5. Provide technical assistance to the State agency responsible for mass care;

        6.  
        7. Validate requests from the affected State for mass care resources;

        8.  
        9. Manage the process for requests for Federal assistance;

        10.  
        11. Provide reports to the national ESF #6 response structure and DFO; and

        12.  
        13. Anticipate future mass care requirements.

        14.  
    3. Continuing Actions

    4.  
      1. The national ESF #6 response structure will:

      2.  
        1. Assess the disaster situation and mass care response needs;

        2.  
        3. Provide technical assistance to the regional ESF #6 section and EST;

        4.  
        5. Coordinate resource requests with the Federal support agencies and EST;

        6.  
        7. Provide status reports on mass care activities in the region(s); and

        8.  
        9. Anticipate future mass care requirements.

        10.  
      3. The regional ESF #6 section will:

      4.  
        1. Coordinate the resources necessary to support the conduct of all required mass care services;

        2.  
        3. Maintain contact with the State agency responsible for mass care to coordinate assistance.  ESF #6, in conjunction with the State counterpart, will evaluate the needs for mass care and, when scarce resources are involved, present those needs to the national ESF #6 response structure for guidance in resource allocation;

        4.  
        5. Manage the request for Federal assistance process for mission assignments and taskings;

        6.  
        7. Manage logistical support and related fiscal activities;

        8.  
        9. Anticipate future mass care requirements; and

        10.  
        11. Coordinate with Federal and voluntary organization recovery programs for the transition of mass care response to recovery operations.

        12.  
  11. Responsibilities
    1.  
    2. Primary Agency: American Red Cross

    3.  
      1. Support the management and coordination of sheltering, feeding, emergency first aid services, bulk distribution of emergency relief items, and DWI services to the disaster-affected population;

      2.  
      3. Provide disaster welfare information to appropriate authorities in response to disaster welfare inquiries and family reunification requests; and

      4.  
      5. Manage mass care logistical and related fiscal activities.

      6.  
    4. Support Agencies

    5.  
      1. Department of Agriculture

      2.  
        1. Food and Nutrition Service
          1. Locate and secure supplies of food, including federally owned surplus foods, to supplement those in the disaster area; and

          2.  
          3. Provide statistics on the quantities and locations of food furnished by the Food and Nutrition Service.

          4.  
        2. Forest Service

        3.  
          1. Provide available departmental resources (cots, blankets, sleeping bags, and personnel) for shelters; and

          2.  
          3. Provide logistical guidance and support.

          4.  
      3. Department of Defense

      4.  
        1. Director of Military Support

        2. Provide available resources (personnel, equipment, and supplies) in the absence of other national disaster system resource capabilities (including contracting).
           

        3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

        4.  
          1. Provide potable water and ice for mass care use and bulk distribution to disaster victims;

          2.  
          3. Provide assistance in inspecting mass care shelter sites after the disaster to ensure suitability of facilities to safely shelter disaster victims; and

          4.  
          5. Provide assistance in constructing temporary shelter facilities, if necessary, in the disaster area.

          6.  
      5. Department of Health and Human Services

      6.  
        1. Provide Department of Health and Human Services workers to augment personnel assigned to shelters;

        2.  
        3. Provide casualty information from within the disaster-affected area in support of a  DWI system;

        4.  
        5. Provide technical assistance for shelter operations related to food, vectors, water supply, and waste disposal; and

        6.  
        7. Assist in the provision of medical supplies.

        8.  
      7. Department of Housing and Urban Development

      8.  
        1. Provide information on available habitable housing units, owned or in the possession of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), within or adjacent to the disaster or affected area for use as emergency shelters; and

        2.  
        3. Provide available HUD staff to assist when needed with mass care operations.

        4.  
      9. Department of Veterans Affairs

      10.  
        1. Provide for food preparation and stockpiling in its facilities during the immediate emergency;

        2.  
        3. Provide medical supplies and personnel to support mass care operations; and

        4.  
        5. Provide available facilities suitable for mass shelter.

        6.  
      11. Federal Emergency Management Agency

      12.  
        1. Assist in the release of information for notification of relatives;

        2.  
        3. Assist in establishing priorities and coordinating the transition of mass care operations with recovery activities based on disaster situation information and the availability of resources that can be appropriately applied; and

        4.  
        5. Provide available resources such as cots, blankets, Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs), and other Initial Response Resources and logistical support, including communications, for disaster operations as appropriate.

        6.  
      13. General Services Administration

      14.  
        1. Provide communications links to the DWI center from the disaster area; and

        2.  
        3. Provivide other logistical support for mass care requirements as requested.

        4.  
      15. U.S. Postal Service

      16.  
        1. Provide Change of Address Cards for victims to notify the Postal Service of relocation addresses for the purpose of mail forwarding, and assist in the distribution, collection, and mailing of those cards; and

        2.  
        3. Provide an electronic file of address change information furnished by disaster victims.

        4.  
  12. References

  13.  
    1. American Red Cross Disaster Services Program, Foundations of the Disaster Services Program, ARC 3000, April 1996.

    2.  
    3. American Red Cross Disaster Services Program, Mass Care — Preparedness and Operations, ARC 3041, April 1987.

    4.  
    5. American Red Cross Disaster Services Program, Disaster Welfare Inquiry, ARC 3044, April 1996.

    6.  
    7. American Red Cross Disaster Services Regulations and Procedures, Disaster Health Services — Preparedness and Operations, ARC 3050, April 1988.

    8.  
    9. Statement of Understanding between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American National Red Cross, October 1, 1997.
Updated: June 3, 1999
FOOTER: FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY