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Catastrophic Disaster Response Staff Officer's Handbook

Handbook 06-08
May 2006

CALL Handbook No. 06-08: Catastrophic Disaster Response Staff Officer's Handbook Cover

Table of Contents


After returning to its home station following service in Joint Task Force Katrina, one unit reported that its "staff lacked a general familiarization with civilian disaster response organizations." The staff officer who trains for and participates in combat operations will experience culture shock when involved in responding to a major domestic catastrophe. He will see a seemingly amorphous array of individuals and organizations from all levels and corners of government, nongovernmental organizations, and private volunteer organizations, all employed in providing disaster relief, though often not working together in a coordinated manner. The staff officer will quickly learn that lack of knowledge slows the unit's response and leads to duplication of effort.

A staff officer needs a reference tool that answers his questions regarding the Department of Defense's place in the overall response to the disaster. Such a guide would introduce the staff officer to the variety of players, their complicated interactions, the Department of Homeland Security's National Response Plan, the emergency support functions, the pitfalls to avoid, and the proven paths to follow in helping deal with the effects of a major domestic disaster.

Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) intends that this handbook be a quick guide for the staff officer who has little or no experience with responding to a catastrophic event, including a terrorist attack, within the United States.

Download CALL 06-08 Handbook [PDF 5.82MB]

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