Going from a 'Federal' to a 'National' Approach
The Interim National Response Plan (INRP)
The National Incident Management System (NIMS)

Charles M. Hess
Deputy Director, Response Division
Emergency Preparedness & Response Secretariat
Department of Homeland Security

January 14, 2004

Transcript (HTML)
Transcript (MS Word)

Related Websites:
Initial National Response Plan (INRP)
INRP Fact Sheet
Draft National Incident Management System (NIMS)

NEMA 2003 Conference Presentation NRP/NIMS

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Mr. Charles M. Hess, Deputy Response Division Director in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Secretariat, Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for planning and executing the Federal government's response to natural disasters and the consequence management of all hazards including terrorist events involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

As Deputy to the Response Division Director, Mr. Hess is responsible for directing and overseeing the development and implementation of operational policies and procedures, and deployment of resources for use by DHS and other Federal departments and agencies in responding to: (1) Presidential disaster and other emergency declarations; (2) National Security Emergencies; and (3) the response to technological and man-made incidents in support of State and local governments. These policies and procedures are required in order to ensure that the United States can effectively protect its citizens and the viability of its infrastructure and institutions through nationwide response programs.

The functions and resources of the Division include the Mobile Emergency Response System, disaster logistics, communications, Federal and regional operation centers, and national disaster response teams. The Division also is responsible for managing the interagency Federal Response Plan and addressing issues related to catastrophic disaster planning, terrorism program policies and procedures, emergency teams (including the National Emergency Response Teams) and rostering more than 650 Agency personnel.

Mr. Hess, a member of the Senior Executive Service since 1995, was named to his present position in February 2002. He came to FEMA following a lengthy career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) most recently serving as Operations Division Chief in the Civil Works Directorate at the USACE Headquarters. In that position Mr. Hess directed the national program for Operations and Maintenance of Navigation, Hydropower, Natural Resources and Recreation Infrastructure, as well as, the Civil Emergency Management and Regulatory missions of the Corps. Other USACE assignments included serving as Director of Engineering and Technical Services for the Ohio River Division (now Great Lakes and Ohio River Division - LRD); and as Chief of the Construction Division for the Chemical Demilitarization Directorate at the Corps' Huntsville Engineering Center, Huntsville, Alabama; and Deputy Commander for Programs and Technical Management, also in Huntsville, filling the role of the senior civilian leader of an organization that has nationwide responsibilities in the destruction of unexploded ordnance and chemical weapons.

Mr. Hess is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1969. He also holds a Master's in Engineering Administration from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., with a Major in Construction Management. In 1999, he received the Presidential Rank award as Meritorious Executive in the SES Corps, for his leadership in the Operations function within USACE.