NIMS Alert 41-19: FEMA Releases Updated Guidance for Community Lifelines

FEMA Community Lifelines

FEMA has released the "Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit 2.0" and the "Incident Stabilization Guide", which provide updated information and resources to better understand and implement Community Lifelines throughout the emergency management community.

On Oct. 30, 2019, the "National Response Framework, Fourth Edition" was released. Key updates to the NRF include the creation of a new "Emergency Support Function 14" for cross-sector business and industry, and the formalization of the Community Lifelines within national-level response policy. To support the NRF release, FEMA has updated the Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit.

Toolkit 1.0 was released in February 2019 as the first formal guidance on lifelines. Since then, FEMA has conducted significant stakeholder engagement with state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers, interagency partners, and private and non-profit stakeholders to provide training, achieve buy-in, and gain critical feedback to help mature the construct.

Since its creation, the lifelines concept has been widely accepted throughout the emergency management community. The simplicity and plain language used for lifelines eases coordination and communication among partners at multiple levels. The construct was validated during responses to Hurricanes Michael, Florence, and Dorian, Super Typhoon Yutu, Alaska Earthquake, and during the Shaken Fury full-scale exercise. Lessons learned from exercises, operations, and stakeholder feedback resulted in refinement and improvement to the construct, as reflected in Toolkit 2.0.

Along with the updated toolkit, FEMA is releasing an operational draft of the "Incident Stabilization Guide." The guide provides further explanation of how FEMA will use the lifelines during response operations and planning and introduces its potential applicability across the preparedness cycle and other mission areas.


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