The National Response Framework (NRF) guides how Federal agencies work together and integrate with the private sector to respond to emergencies and disasters. The NRF includes Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) that group resources and capabilities into functional areas most frequently needed in a national response. ESFs provide the structure to facilitate Federal support to States and Federal-to-Federal support, both for Stafford Act declared disasters and emergencies and for non-Stafford Act incidents.
ESF #11 focuses on agriculture and natural resources and provides the structure for coordinating the delivery of certain resources and expertise from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). This support helps feed people, ensure the safety of certain food products, address animal and agricultural health issues, and evaluate damage to natural and cultural resources and historic properties. These resources are delivered by the partners listed below.
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) coordinates with State, local, and voluntary organizations to provide nutrition assistance to those most affected by a disaster or emergency. USDA Foods are currently stored in every State and U.S. Territory and may be used by State agencies or local disaster relief organizations to provide food to shelters or people who are sheltering in place. If requested, FNS may authorize a variety of nutrition assistance programs to include the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) or provision of emergency food available to households in lieu of providing D-SNAP benefits.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has statutory authority to respond to pest and disease incidents that impact agricultural health and incidents where wildlife may damage agricultural animals or be a reservoir for zoonotic disease. When mission assigned, APHIS works with public health and medical services partners to ensure that animal/veterinary issues in natural disasters are supported. APHIS provides technical expertise to assist local, State, Tribal, Territorial, insular areas, and Federal jurisdictions in coordinating public, private sector, and nongovernmental organization resources to support animal management issues that arise in association with an emergency or disaster. Animal management issues can involve household pets, service and assistance animals, agricultural animals/livestock, wildlife, and other animals (including exotics, zoo animals, animals used in research, and animals housed in congregate settings, such as in shelters, with rescue organizations, with breeders, and in sanctuaries).
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the primary agency responsible for protecting Natural, Cultural, and Historical (NCH) resources by coordinating appropriate response actions to preserve, conserve, rehabilitate, and inform long-term recovery of NCH resources. This may include providing post event assessments of damages and providing technical assistance and resources for assessing impacts of response activities on NCH resources.
As the home agency for ESF #11, APHIS has an ESF #11 coordinator in each of the 10 FEMA Regions to coordinate incident preparedness and response activity with FEMA, other Federal agencies, and State, local, Tribal, and Territorial authorities. APHIS also has a coordinator (s) in the National Capital Region to manage national level preparedness and response activities and support FEMA headquarters.