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Private Sector, Role in Response

  • By: Rachel Dowty & Jude Egan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

While federal, state, and local governments play crucial roles during disaster response, the private and nonprofit sectors have an increasingly important role. The National Response Framework (NRF), the operational document of the Stafford Act, acknowledges that disasters quickly outstrip the public sector's resources, limiting its ability to respond. As such, governmental bodies have begun to rely on the for-profit (private) and nonprofit (voluntary) sectors to make up the resource shortfall.

Nonprofit organizations, called the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) community, such as the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army, to name a few, play the largest nongovernmental (NGO) role in disaster response and recovery activities. The private sector, however, is playing an increasingly important role in planning and response activities via contractual relationships ...

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