Preparedness is defined by DHS/FEMA as "a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response." This cycle is one element of a broader National Preparedness System to prevent, respond to, and recover from natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other disasters.
Planning for Potential Crises
Planning makes it possible to manage the entire life cycle of a potential crisis.
Strategic and operational planning establishes priorities, identifies expected levels of performance and capability requirements, provides the standard for assessing capabilities, and helps stakeholders learn their roles.
The National Response Framework presents the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies from the smallest incident to the largest catastrophe. The Framework establishes a comprehensive, national, all-hazards approach to domestic incident response.
Building a Culture of Preparedness
The agency supports preparedness by developing policies, ensuring adequate plans are in place and are validated, defining necessary capabilities required to address threats, providing resources and technical assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial partners, and integrating and synchronizing preparedness efforts throughout the Nation.
Training emergency managers, firefighters, elected officials and other emergency responders through a variety of courses in all-hazards emergency planning and response is a key part of building a culture of preparedness. The agency has established and delivered effective training and professional education programs and developed a national certification system for overall emergency management competency and expertise. This work is accomplished by the National Emergency Training Center and Center for Domestic Preparedness and other training partners.