Immediate Response Authority During Natural or Manmade Disasters

Tuesday October 16, 2007

What is it? Civil authorities may ask local Army commanders to provide support to save lives, prevent human suffering or mitigate great property damage during an emergency. When time does not permit approval from higher headquarters, a military commander may take immediate and necessary action in response to requests from civil authorities under Immediate Response Authority in accordance with DOD directives 3025.1 and 3025.15.

What has the Army done? Army units may provide defense support to civil authorities under immediate response authority subject to policy guidance from DOD. Support may include search and rescue, evacuation, emergency medical treatment, emergency restoration of essential public services, emergency clearance of debris and explosive ordnance, monitoring, decontaminating or controlling access to areas contaminated by radiological, chemical, biological or explosive agents.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? When responding to requests from civil authorities, local Army commanders must advise the National Military Command Center through the chain of command and the NORAD-USNORTHCOM Command Center within two hours of the decision to provide immediate response assistance and seek Secretary of Defense approval or additional authorization as needed. DOD support under immediate response authority is limited to the time that local or state authorities can resume control (generally 72 hours or less).

Why is this important to the Army? Army North, as the Army component of U.S. Northern Command, is working to improve understanding of the military's role in defense support of civil authorities. The command will continue to work to effectively and efficiently coordinate DOD timely response in the land domain.


- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates.
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal


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