Federal Emergency Management Agency Response and Recovery Doctrine Development

Federal Emergency Management Agency Response and Recovery Doctrine Development

Client: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of Policy and Doctrine, Doctrine Unit

In 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified the development of a doctrine program as a priority for its Office of Response and Recovery. Doctrine consists of authoritative materials which guide and describe FEMA’s response and recovery operations at the incident, regional, and national levels. Between 2011 and 2013, the FEMA Response and Recovery Directorate established a doctrine unit and, with the analytical support of HSSAI, developed a doctrine program.

The doctrine program applies analysis and research to identify relevant doctrinal issues and to produce critical high-level documents and procedures that address those issues. These doctrine documents reshaped the way the agency conducts its business and knowledge management practices. As a result, doctrine began to serve as the basis for planning, staffing, and disaster response and recovery. In close partnership with the FEMA Office of Policy and Doctrine, the HSSAI doctrine development team provided expertise in emergency management and extensive experience in the wide range of incident management and support operations.

The doctrine development team earned its seventh consecutive awarded task; becoming a key source of analytic support to an ever-expanding group of clients within the FEMA Response and Recovery Directorate—including the first-ever doctrinal support to FEMA’s Recovery programs. This expansion of clientele was due to the team’s longstanding record of excellence, high productivity, and customer responsiveness to FEMA’s dynamic environment.

The HSSAI doctrine development team earned a reputation as experts in federal emergency management and incident management and support, with all the components of the FEMA Response and Recovery Directorate. The FEMA Office of Policy and Doctrine client said the team is:


  • Uniquely suited to provide unbiased technical analysis and support to FEMA
  • A trusted agent for producing independent, peer-reviewed, objective analyses and innovative actionable recommendations

The FEMA Office of Policy and Doctrine Sponsor stated, “Producing doctrine in an interdisciplinary environment requires careful, objective analysis, and structured, robust facilitation processes. The HSSAI team was exceptionally flexible and responsive to the complexities of emergency management doctrine. [They] excelled in creating balanced working group dynamics, facilitating difficult policy and operational disputes, and managing both complex and quotidian document development issues.”

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute Projects, Resiliency and Emergency Preparedness / Response