Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress [May 13, 2015] [open pdf - 703KB]
"For most disasters across the nation, the affected local, state, or tribal governments have sufficient capabilities to respond to the incident. However, for disasters with consequences that require unique capabilities or that overwhelm the existing capabilities of a respective state or tribal government, Congress has authorized and appropriated a suite of deployable federal assets to support domestic disaster response operations. This report reviews several key concepts about these federal assets, and highlights possible issues Congress may consider when evaluating their authorization and appropriation. In this report, a 'deployable federal' asset generally means sets of specially trained federal employees whose mission is to provide on-scene assistance to communities by supporting their disaster response. Deployable federal assets can be described as the federal government's 'first responders' to a disaster. They typically only provide assistance at the request of states or tribes and in circumstances where the capabilities of non-federal government entities are insufficient. The federal government also scopes its assistance to provide only the assets that are required by the situation. The maximum disaster consequences that the federal government is prepared to address with its full set of response capabilities is largely unknown. […] This report also provides brief summaries of examples of deployable federal assets. These assets are managed, either solely or jointly, by a variety of federal departments and agencies, including components of the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Transportation Safety Board; and others."
CRS Report for Congress, R43560
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html