National Response Framework Policy Landscape Analysis Tool

PNNL scientists designed a tool to visually explore the National Response Framework.

First responders at a disaster scene

NRF-PLAT allows users to explore the National Response Framework that guides national response to all types of disasters and emergencies.

(Photo by Alena Paulus | istock.com)

The National Response Framework Policy Landscape Analysis Tool (NRF-PLAT) interactively captures and visualizes intricacies of the National Response Framework, a federal guide to national response to all types of disasters and emergencies.

Background

“What do we do during an emergency?”

The declaration of an emergency triggers a complex set of interactions among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. The National Response Framework was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to guide national response through all types of disasters and emergencies. It is built on scalable, flexible, and adaptable concepts identified in the National Incident Management System to align key roles and responsibilities in emergency response.

PNNL analyzed the intricacies of the framework and translated its structure—nearly 100 pages of text—into a user-friendly, free visualization tool. The resulting NRF-PLAT can be utilized to better understand the foundational management doctrine for how the nation responds to all types of incidents.

Design and Operations

The NRF-PLAT captures 474 requirements, recommendations, value statements, and training opportunities excerpted verbatim in the National Response Framework document (4th edition) in an intuitive way.

Screenshot of NRF-PLAT sunburst visualization.
Screenshot of NRF-PLAT sunburst visualization. (Visualization by Lyndsey Franklin | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Users can view and parse the framework elements using facets that include:

  • Primary Partner
  • Specific Designee
  • Additional Partners/Designees
  • Specific Roles
  • Community Lifelines
  • Emergency Support Functions
  • Section

The facets can be displayed in a visual format using icicle and sunburst charts. A user can graphically display, for example, the relative number of requirements, recommendations, value statements, and training opportunities assigned to the federal government versus individuals, families, and households.

NRF-PLAT was designed similarly to the Biodefense Policy Landscape Analysis Tool that PNNL launched in 2018 to navigate complex relationships within the U.S. biodefense enterprise.

Please contact Kristin Omberg (kristin.omberg@pnnl.gov), Justine Spencer (justine.spencer@pnnl.gov), or Yavana Ganesh (yavana.ganesh@pnnl.gov) with any questions, comments, suggestions, or reports of typographical or transcription errors.

News & Publications