Background 
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, DHS was established to 
prevent and deter terrorism, and to protect against and respond to threats and 
hazards to the nation.  The 
Homeland Security Act of 2002
2
assigns 
responsibility to the EP&R directorate to lead federal disaster response and 
recovery activities.  FEMA, transferred in its entirety into the EP&R 
directorate, is directly responsible for executing this aspect of DHS' mission.  
The organization chart below illustrates EP&R and FEMA within the context 
of the DHS organization.  (See Figure 1). 
  
DHS Secretary
Deputy Secretary 
Under Secretary for 
Under Secretary for Emergency 
Management
Preparedness and Response
DHS Chief Information 
Officer
Chemical, Biological, Radiological 
Nuclear Incident 
Domestic Emergency 
National Domestic 
and Nuclear Response Teams  
Response Team
Support
Preparation Office
Federal Emergency Management 
Agency
Headquarters 
Headquarters 
Headquarters Mitigation 
Headquarters 
Headquarters Information 
Response Division
Recovery Division
Division
Preparedness Division
Technology Services 
Division (CIO office)
Figure 1:  EP&R/FEMA Organization 
When devastation exceeds the capability and resources of local and state 
governments to respond they turn to the federal government for assistance.   
The 
Stafford Act
3
 gives FEMA the authority to lead the disaster response and 
                                                 
2
Public Law 107 296, November 25, 2002. 
3
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act
, as amended by Public Law 106 390, October 30, 
2000.  
Emergency Preparedness and Response Could Better Integrate Information Technology  
with Incident Response and Recovery 
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