Emergency Management

090 FW 2
FWM Number
Originating Office
Emergency Management and Physical Security Program

2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes:

A. Policy and responsibilities for handling emergencies;

B. Coordination requirements for Service resources, facilities, and personnel;

C. Procedures to ensure senior leadership gets the necessary information about emergency response and recovery actions; and

D. Training requirements for emergency response personnel.

2.2 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter:

A. Applies to all Service employees involved in emergency management activities;

B. Encompasses hazards and emergencies that impact:

(1) Service lands, facilities, personnel, and resources;

(2) The Service’s ability to execute normal operations and emergency programs; and

(3) Local, State, and other Federal agencies when the Service provides mutual assistance or emergency support function resources as the National Response Framework requires.

C. Does not change or modify established policy and procedures for responding to wildland fires or “All Hazard” incidents that other Service policies or interagency standards cover.

2.3 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

A. Catastrophic Incident is an incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, or Government functions.

B. Emergency is an incident that requires action to protect life or property. Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, an emergency is an occasion when the President determines Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States (e.g., hurricane, earthquake, dam breach, etc.).

C. Emergency Management is the coordination and integration of all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the ability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, or mitigate against threatened or actual disasters and acts of terrorism.

D. Interior Regional Emergency Coordination Councils (I-RECC) are teams of people representing different bureaus that have responsibilities within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) region. The teams foster cooperation and mutual aid with other Federal agencies, State, tribal, and local governments and coordinate emergency preparedness and response activities.

E. Serious Incident is a law enforcement incident, emergency condition, unusual event, or homeland security concern that could focus public interest on the Department or the Service or result in inquiries to the Secretary of the Interior or the Director (see 054 FW 1).

2.4 What are the authorities for this chapter?

A. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5),Management of Domestic Incidents andHSPD-8, National Preparedness.

B. National Response Framework, FEMA.

C. 900 DM 1, Policy, Functions, and Responsibilities of the Emergency Management Program.

D. 900 DM 4, Coordination of Emergency Incidents.

E. 900 DM 5, National Response Plan Coordination.

2.5 What is the Service’s policy on emergency management? It is our policy to:

A. Comply with Department of the Interior emergency management policy;

B. Support other Federal agencies who have primary responsibility during emergencies/incidents in the National Response Framework;

C. Manage emergencies using principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS);

D. Have managers delegate response activities to the lowest possible organizational level to perform them efficiently and effectively;

E. Ensure Service personnel coordinating and providing emergency services have received appropriate mandatory training to fulfill their responsibilities (see section 2.9);

F. Maintain an integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive emergency management program;

G. Report serious incidents to the Department’s Incident Operations Center (IOC) using the Incident Command System (ICS) 209 Emergency Incident Situation Report, as soon as possible or within 2 hours of the incident to enable Service, Departmental, and Interagency coordination; and

H. Establish and maintain an Emergency Management Coordination Group (see the Service's All Hazard Plan) to work with affected programs to facilitate preparedness and response activities for any major disaster or emergency that requires significant Departmental involvement.

2.6 Who is responsible for implementing this policy?

A. The Director and Deputy Director:

(1) Effectively manage and execute emergency programs and functions within the Service;

(2) Provide necessary resources for emergency management;

(3) Designate a Service Emergency Coordinator and alternate; and

(4) Ensure that the Service supports the National Response Framework mission requirements that FEMA has assigned to the Department.

B. The Assistant Director – National Wildlife Refuge System ensures:

(1) That the Service’s Emergency Coordinator participates in Departmentwide emergency planning and preparation exercises and training activities, and

(2) That staff report serious incidents to the Department’s IOC (see 054 FW 1).

C. Assistant Directors:

(1) Designate Emergency Management Coordination Group members to represent their Headquarters programs, and

(2) Manage and provide adequate funding for program areas to meet their emergency/incident response and recovery operations.

D. Regional Directors:

(1) Manage emergency programs and functions within the Region;

(2) Designate a primary and alternate Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Region (send written designations to the Service Emergency Coordinator);

(3) Designate an I-RECC Council member for the Region;

(4) Ensure that a trained and properly equipped group of responders is available for emergencies/incidents;

(5) Provide mutual aid resources and assistance to other Regions and agencies when necessary;

(6) Ensure Regional staff develop a Regional Emergency Management Plan and annually review it so there are adequate standard operating procedures and program assignments. The Plan must:

     (a) Address how the Region establishes Incident Management Teams for deployment to meet National Response Framework requirements and for Regional response to Service facilities, and

     (b) Establish a Regional Management Team following ICS structure structure
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(7) Issue internal delegations of authority to Regional Emergency Management (e.g., Regional Emergency Coordinator, fire team members, law enforcement officers) and Incident Management Team members, as appropriate for potential emergency situations; and

(8) Ensure that staff report and document incident and emergency management activities and send them to appropriate contacts in the Service and Department in a timely manner (see 054 FW 1 and 900 DM 1 and 4).

E. The Emergency Management Coordination Group (EMCG) is in Headquarters. The Assistant Directors select EMCG members to:

(1) Follow the operational guidelines established in the Service’s All-Hazards Plan, Appendix B;

(2) Assist in developing emergency management policy and work with other programs on related policy (e.g., environmental hazard response, fire response, oil spill response, etc.);

(3) Ensure that mechanisms are in place to coordinate sharing of personnel and equipment among offices during emergencies;

(4) Coordinate:

     (a) Providing emergency-related information to senior officials;

     (b) Emergency management financial and budget information; and

     (c) Emergency management training, education, and exercises;

(5) Monitor how well our emergency management program is performing;

(6) Develop lessons learned or after-action reviews to document efficiencies, deficiencies, and changes needed to improve future emergency management performance; and

(7) Meet regularly to discuss program coordination and preparedness (meetings may be more frequent during an emergency situation).

F. The Service’s Emergency Coordinator, located in the Division of Refuge Law Enforcement:

(1) Serves as the principal advisor to the Director for planning, coordination, resource requirements, execution, and evaluation of emergency activities and training exercises (see sections 2.7 and 2.9);

(2) Uses established systems to coordinate the deployment of resources when normal coordination within a Region or program is not feasible;

(3) Serves as liaison to the Department on emergency management matters;

(4) Develops and maintains the Service’s All-Hazard Plan and other response plans (e.g., the Pandemic Influenza Plan) in conjunction with the EMCG members;

(5)  Maintains an Intranet site with up-to-date emergency management policies, memoranda, resources, and other information necessary for the Service to provide an effective emergency management program; and

(6) Reviews and updates this policy.

G. Regional Emergency Coordinators (REC) and alternate RECs:

(1) Plan, prepare, respond, and recover from emergencies that require coordination above the local (field station) level using established national and Regional procedures. These incidents include, but are not limited to:

     (a) Hurricanes,

     (b) Tornadoes,

     (c) Storms,

     (d) High water floods and wind-driven water,

     (e) Tidal waves and tsunamis,

     (f) Earthquakes,

     (g) Volcanic eruptions,

     (h) Landslides and mudslides,

     (i) Flooding or dam failures, and

     (j) Terrorism;

(2) Establish a Regional Management Team structure and standard operating procedures to handle Regional emergencies/incidents by following ICS principles;

(3) If feasible, participate on FEMA Regional Interagency Steering Committees to ensure coordination between the Region and FEMA;

(4) Develop internal delegations of authority for emergency management in conjunction with other Regional emergency management staff (e.g., fire and law enforcement programs);

(5) Coordinate with the I-RECC, specifically I-RECC members from other Regions, when a multi-Regional emergency/incident dictates;

(6) Participate in Regional emergency planning, exercises, and training activities (e.g., simulation exercises with other Regional departments and other Federal agencies);

(7) Establish a reliable system within the Region for coordinating and communicating emergencies, reports, and notifications to the Service Emergency Coordinator and the Department’s IOC on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week. This includes:

     (a) Providing the Service Emergency Coordinator with accurate contact information annually or when changes occur, and

     (b) Putting cell phone number(s) on voice mail greeting messages associated with their business/office telephone line;

(8) Coordinate any Regional requests for additional non-firefighting resources (from another Region, another bureau, or other Federal or State agency) with the Service Emergency Coordinator or other contact. The Fire Branch and the Interagency Coordination Center handle firefighting coordination;

(9) Coordinate any dam-related emergencies (e.g., terrorist threats, dam failures) with the affected Project Leader, Regional Program Supervisor, and Regional Dam Safety Officer (see 360 FW 1 through 3). The Regional Dam Safety Officer must ensure that the REC knows about emergency situations involving dams in the Region; and

(10) Coordinate with the Service Emergency Coordinator and the National Response Framework emergency points of contact to provide resources (e.g., motorboat/operator for search and rescue), as requested.

H. I-RECC Team Members are responsible for:

(1) Participating in FEMA Regional Interagency Steering Committee meetings. Through participation, team members establish a working relationship with the FEMA Regional Resource Coordination Center senior emergency management staff. These relationships help with communication during crisis periods.

(2) Assisting in the development of, or continued conformance with, Regional I-RECC standard operating procedures.

I. Project Leaders/Field Station Supervisors:

(1) Provide appropriate initial response to emergency situations, including requesting immediate emergency assistance from agencies in the local area.

(2) Provide guidance on response and personal accountability for the first 48 hours after an incident or until a coordinated response is in place. Guidance on managing the first 48 hours is typically in the field station’s Disaster or Emergency Action Plan.

(3) Explore and establish mutual aid agreements, as necessary, to provide effective emergency response at their field stations.

(4) Comply with the emergency notification procedures in 054 FW 1, this chapter, and Regional notification of serious incident protocols. Ensure the REC is included in the notification process.

(5) Evaluate field station operations to determine which functions are essential and must continue during an emergency and ensure those functions continue.

(6) Ensure field station staff receive training on emergency procedures and that there is trained backup for key positions or activities.

(7) Ensure their field stations have emergency and disaster plans that the Service and the Department require and update them annually or more often, if necessary.

J. Employees must:

(1) Protect their safety and health and that of others, if feasible, when dealing with an emergency situation (e.g., contacting first responders for assistance);

(2) Follow their station’s emergency or disaster action plan;

(3) Provide current emergency contact information to their supervisors when that information changes (we recommend employees provide emergency contact information on the Employee Express Web site); and

(4) Complete required emergency management training courses for their positions, roles, and responsibilities (see section 2.9).

2.7 What is the emergency coordinating and reporting process? We typically manage response activities at the lowest possible organizational level unless it’s necessary to involve higher level management.

A. Coordination process: When an emergency occurs:

(1) The office/field station initially responds to the emergency on their own;

(2) If the office/field station needs assistance, they may ask another Service office/field station or other local, State, or Federal entity in the immediate area for assistance. Many offices/field stations have mutual aid agreements with local entities for emergency situations;

(3) The office/field station may also contact the Regional office for assistance. The Region may deploy resources (e.g., Incident Management Team, assets/vehicles) to the requesting location; and

(4) If the office/field station needs help from other Regions or bureaus in the Department:

     (a) The Project Leader/Supervisor should initially contact their Regional Office supervisor and REC to determine the best way to get help.

     (b) The REC must brief the Regional Director or Deputy Regional Director about the situation and coordinate the request for assistance with the Service Emergency Coordinator or Emergency Management Coordinator Group counterpart on the Regional Management Team.

     (c) The REC must adhere to any delegation of authority relative to emergency management and coordinating response and recovery operations of Regional, Service, or other bureau assets.

B. Reporting process:

(1) If the incident is a “serious incident,” the office/field station must report it to the Service Duty Officer and the Department’s Operations Center (see 054 FW 1). The office/field station must also report the incident by email or over the telephone to Regional program management, other affected Regional programs (e.g., law enforcement, fire), and the REC.

(2) If it is not a “serious incident” and it does not meet the reporting thresholds for Headquarters involvement described in the Service All-Hazard Plan, then the office/field station and Regional office handle the incident in compliance with this and any other relevant Service policy (see section 2.8).

2.8 What is this policy’s relationship to Departmental or other Service policy? This policy clarifies the relationship between Departmental and other Service policies in response to emergency management activities. Managers and responders should be familiar with this policy and any other chapter that may guide them when responding to a specific type of emergency. Table 2-1 provides links to other Service Manual chapters and Departmental policies that include emergency management language.

Table 2-1: Other Service Manual Chapters and Departmental Policies Relevant to Emergencies


039 FW 1 Continuity of Operations

054 FW 1 Serious Incidents

095 FW 3 Wildland Fire Management

621 FW 1 & 2 Wildland Fire Management

240 FW 7 Safety—Accident Investigation and Reporting

320 FW 8 Motor Vehicle Accident Reporting

330 FW 5 Aviation Safety and Mishap Prevention and Reporting

361 FW 1 – 3 Dam Safety

362 FW 1 Bridge Safety

363 FW 1 Seismic Safety

432 FW 1 Physical Security

560 FW 3 Reporting the Release of Hazardous Substances

561 FW 11 Radioactive Materials (rescinded)

563 FW 2 Air Quality Protection

900 DM 1 Emergency Management Policy, Functions, and Responsibilities

900 DM 2 Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program

900 DM 3 National Security Emergency Preparedness

900 DM 4 Coordination of Emergency Incidents

900 DM 5 National Response Plan Coordination

905 DM 1 Disaster Assistance Policy, Functions and Responsibilities

910 DM 4 National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan

2.9 What are the training requirements for employees involved in emergency management coordination and response/recovery operations?

A. Emergency Coordinators, EMCG members, I-RECC team members, and their alternates must complete, at a minimum, National Incident Management System and Incident Command System (ICS) training as required in the Department’s Emergency Management Policy Guidance Bulletin 2007-1 “National Incident Management System Training Requirements” and the December 5, 2008 Service Memorandum, “National Incident Management System (NIMS) Regional Training. See Exhibit 1.

B. See Exhibit 2 (PDF) for additional training that we recommend, but do not require.

2.10 Are there other requirements for employees to serve as emergency coordinators? Yes.

A. The Service’s Emergency Coordinator and RECs must:

(1) Have a position description that:

     (a) Includes their roles and responsibilities for emergency coordination;

     (b) Designates them as a “mission-critical emergency employee” according to the Office of Personnel Management’s Compensation Memorandum (PM 2004-27, December 8, 2004); and

     (c) Designates them as “Emergency Response Officials” to conform with Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-12; and

(2) Have their Government-issued Smartcard coded with the Emergency Response Official designation.

B. EMCG members must also have their Government-issued Smartcard coded with the Emergency Response Official designation.

Attachments (Exhibits, Amendments, etc)