The SNS Program

Length: 553 words

The SNS Program is part of a nationwide preparedness training and education program for state and local health care providers, first responders, and governments (to include federal officials, governors’ offices, state and local health departments, and emergency management agencies). This training not only explains the SNS Program’s mission and operations, it alerts state and local emergency response officials to the important issues they must plan for in order to receive, secure, and distribute SNS assets.

To conduct this outreach and training, CDC and SNS Program staff are currently working with HHS, Regional Emergency Response Coordinators at all of the U. S. Public Health Service regional offices, state and local health departments, state emergency management offices, the Metropolitan Medical Response System cities, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Department of Defense. Thus, the SNS program is one that links the CDC with the DHS through the HHS. However, this program is mainly for rehabilititative purposes. FEMA, CDC and DHS:

Another example of disaster management through interagency methods include the co-ordination between the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These two have been working closely with state and local governments and relief organizations to remind residents and businesses in coastal areas to counter hurricane disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency – a former independent agency that became part of the new Department of Homeland Security in March 2003 – is specifically tasked with responding to, planning for, recovering from and mitigating against disasters.

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U. S. Fire Administration. The 1960s and early 1970s brought massive disasters requiring major federal response and recovery operations by the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration, established within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

There were hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. In 1968, the National Flood Insurance Act offered new flood protection to homeowners, and in 1974 the Disaster Relief Act firmly established the process of Presidential disaster declarations. When hazards associated with nuclear power plants and the transportation of hazardous substances were added to natural disasters, more than 100 federal agencies were involved in some aspect of disasters, hazards and emergencies.

To reduce the complexity of disaster relief work, these agencies asked President Jimmy Carter to centralize federal emergency functions. President Carter’s 1979 executive order merged many of the separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA began development of an Integrated Emergency Management System with an all-hazards approach that included “direction, control and warning systems which are common to the full range of emergencies from small isolated events to the ultimate emergency – war. ”

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th focused the agency on issues of national preparedness and homeland security, and tested the agency in unprecedented ways. The agency coordinated its activities with the newly formed Office of Homeland Security. Today, FEMA is one of four major branches of DHS. About 2,500 full-time employees in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate are supplemented by more than 5,000 stand-by disaster reservists. FEMA’s mission remains: to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of “A Nation Prepared. “

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