Response & Recovery

The Federal Government through NEMA has a mandate to assist States and Local Governments in disaster response and recovery. Recovery personnel at the National Emergency Coordination Centre (NECC) in tune with this mandate are required to closely monitor response activities and to obtain valuable data regarding the severity and intensity of the event, the affected geographic area and the potential unsatisfied critical needs of the affected population. 

When a Federal disaster declaration is issued in response to an incident, key Federal and State recovery officials should establish and co-locate at a Disaster Office (DO). This could be at the SOC in the case of a State disaster or at the National Emergency Coordination Centre (NECC) in the case of a national disaster. In choosing the DO location, officials should attempt to select a site that is as proximate to the affected area as possible, but is removed from the immediate disaster zone. This is done to avoid placing an additional burden on the area’s already strained infrastructure and social system. The DO serves as the hub for the coordination of Federal and State disaster assistance as well as a focal point for the associated recovery and reconstruction issues. Many critical post-disaster concerns, particularly in a catastrophic event, cannot be directly resolved by the application of traditional federal disaster relief. Resolution of these issues would therefore require a coordinated Local. State and Federal effort and would often involve application of non-disaster community assistance programmes.
Federal agencies are prepared to take a variety of actions to assist State and Local Governments in responding to and recovering from a major disaster. These actions – ranging from initial notification of a disaster to preparation of a final disaster after-action report. They are not necessarily in sequential order; some may be undertaken concurrently.
1. Notification a. Upon indication of an imminent or actual disaster, the State notifies the NEMA Zonal office. The Zonal office then immediately notifies the NECC and NEMA Zonal staff in accordance with Zonal offices’ operational plans and procedures.
b. The NECC notifies key NEMA headquarters staff and other Federal agencies through their respective agency EOCs and/or designated individual(s). An Advisory notice is issued to provide an early warning that a possible event being monitored may result in activation. The Advisory notice is for information only and requires no formal action. An Alert notice is issued when an imminent or actual event is likely to result in activation. It puts Federal responders on notice that they need to be ready for immediate deployment. Activation directs immediate deployment to the location specified in the notice. A cancellation indicates that no further action is required or that an activation notification is being terminated.
c. CDRG Members may be notified to convene at NEMA Headquarters for an initial meeting, depending on the nature of the disaster. CDRG members alternate or remain on call to meet at any time during the disaster response.
2. Activation
– a. With the support of SSA’s, the Zonal HQ staff initially deploys members of the ERT-A, including damage assessment personnel, to State operating facilities and disaster sites to assess the impact of the situation, collect damage information, and determine requirements. If zonal resources appear to be overwhelmed or in an event having potentially significant consequences, NEMA Headquarters may deploy an ERT-N to coordinate the initial response.
– b. Meanwhile, if directed by NEMA Headquarters, the NECC informs SSA primary agencies of EST activation and provides a time frame for each activated SSA to report to NEMA Headquarters, as part of the EST. Primary agencies are responsible for the activation of their supporting agencies if required. Agencies may activate their headquarters EOCs to provide coordination and direction to their zonal response elements in the field.
– c. NEMA indicates the extent of damage and the degree of Federal assistance required. NEMA Headquarters then forwards the Governor’s request to the Presidency, along with a recommended course of action.Concurrent with a Presidential declaration of a major disaster or emergency and official appointment of an FCO, NEMA designates the degree or nature of assistance required and the provinces eligible to receive assistance.
– d. The ERT-A/ERT-N coordinates damage assessment and selection of locations for field facilities with the State. It also coordinates mission assignments for direct Federal assistance and procurement of goods and services. The ERT-A/ERT-N begins the transition to a partial or full ERT.
Recovery Operations
– a. The ERT Operations Section is the central coordination point amongst State and Federal agencies and voluntary organizations for delivering recovery assistance programmes. The Human Services and Infrastructure Support Branches of the Operations Section assess State and local recovery fundamentals at the outset of the disaster and relevant time frames for programme delivery. The branches ensure that Federal agencies that might have appropriate recovery assistance programmes are notified of the disaster and share relevant information with all involved agencies.
– b. In conjunction with the SCO. the FCO determines the need for DRCs in the disaster area. State and Federal agencies man the DRCs with knowledgeable officials who provide recovery programme information, advice,counseling, and technical assistance related to mitigation.
– c. The Human Services Branch of the ERT coordinates assistance programmes to help individuals, families, and businesses meet basic necessities and return to self-reliance. The branch also coordinates with voluntary organizations and could become involved in donations’ management.
– d. The Infrastructure Support Branch of the ERT coordinates assistance programmes to aid State and Local Government and eligible private nonprofit organizations, to repair or replace damaged public facilities.
The NDRP and its operational components are designed to be flexible, in order to accommodate the response and recovery requirements specific to the disaster. In general, headquarters-level components provide support to the regional-level components that implement the on-scene operations in the field. Major components include:
– National Emergency Coordination Centre/Mobile Emergency Response Support Operations Centre
The National Emergency Coordination Centre (NECC) serves as NEMA’s official notification point of an impending or actual disaster or emergency. This facility maintains a 24-hour watch capability to monitor all sources of warning/disaster information, including other Federal agencies, NEMA zones, and the news media. The NECC reports disaster events to NEMA key officials, NEMA zones, and NDRP signatory agencies.
The ERT-A is the initial Federal group that responds to an incident in the field. It is headed by a team leader from NEMA and is composed of NEMA programme and support staff and representatives from selected SSA’s primary agencies. A part of the ERT-A deploys to the State Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) or to other locations to work directly with the State or primary agency involved in such operation, to obtain information on the impact of the event and to identify specific State requests for Federal response assistance.
National Emergency Response Team
In a catastrophic disaster or high-visibility incident that would demand the full capabilities of NEMA, an ERT-N may deploy to the affected area. The Director General of NEMA determines the desirability for an ERT-N deployment, coordinating the plans with the affected region and other Federal agencies. The ERT-N comprises staff from NEMA Headquarters and regional offices, as well as other Federal agencies.
V. Emergency Response Team
The ERT is the principal interagency group that supports the FCO in coordinating the overall Federal disaster operation. Located at the DFO, the ERT ensures that Federal resources are made available to meet State requirements identified by the SCO. The size and composition of the ERT can range from NEMA regional office staff that are primarily conducting recovery operations to an interagency team having representation from all SSA’s primary and support agencies undertaking full response and recovery activities.
The country has been divided into six disaster management zones. Accordingly, there arc six NEMA Zonal Offices as follows:
– (a) Kaduna Zonal Office to cover the North West Zone (Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna States)
– (b) Maiduguri Zonal Office to. cover the North East Zone (Borno, Yobc, Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe States)
– (c) Jos Zonal Office to cover the Central Zone (FCT, Niger. Plateau, Kogi, Benue, kwara and Nasarawa States);
– (d) Lagos Zonal Office to cover the South West Zone (Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo and Lagos states);
– (e) Port Harcourt to cover the South-South Zone (Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers state, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and. Edo States);
– (f) Enugu to cover the South East Zone. (Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Imo and Ebonyi states).
These NEMA Zonal Offices serve as the eyes and ears of NEMA in their respective zones and coordinate NEMA’s disaster operations therein.


NEMA Nigeria

All correspondences should be addressed to: Public Relations Division, National Emergency Management Agency, No. 8, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent Maitama, Abuja Email: or
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