Coordination of a state incident response is accomplished through Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). ESFs are organized groups of government and private-sector entities that provide personnel, supplies, facilities and equipment used in a response. ESFs bring together the capabilities of Nebraska’s departments and agencies and other state level assets that work together to deliver core capabilities and support for an effective response.
ESF representatives work together in the State Emergency Operation Center following a disaster to provide a coordinated state response in support of local communities that have exceeded their capacity to respond.
During a declared disaster, the Nebraska Emergency Management Act (adopted in 1996) grants the governor authority to provide for state-level support to local governments in time of extreme emergency or disaster. The governor can direct the suspension or cancellation of normal state agency operations and redirect resources as necessary. In Nebraska, the emergency support functions are numbered as follows:
- ESF 1 — Transportation
- ESF 2 — Communications
- ESF 3 — Public Works & Engineering
- ESF 4 — Fire Suppression
- ESF 5 — Emergency Management
- ESF 6 — Mass Care, Housing & Human Services
- ESF 7 — Resource Support
- ESF 8 — Public Health & Medical Services
- ESF 9 — Urban Search & Rescue
- ESF 10 — Environmental Quality
- ESF 11 — Agriculture and Natural Resources
- ESF 12 — Energy
- ESF 13 — Public Safety and Security
- ESF 14 — Long Term Recovery and Mitigation
- ESF 15 — Military Support
The ESFs, as well as all local response entities across the state, operate within the principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which incorporates principles of the Incident Command System (ICS). NIMS is a standardized system used across the nation for emergency response. Many ICS and NIMS courses are available FREE online via the Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Program: https://training.fema.gov/is/.