Calling it one of the highest priorities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during his tenure, Tom Ridge, the departing Secretary of Homeland Security, announced that the National Response Plan had been completed. During a national incident, all federal departments and agencies will use the National Response Plan, according to Ridge. In addition, the plan uses the National Incident Management System to establish standardize training, organization and communications procedures for multi-jurisdictional interaction.
The National Response Plan is designed to be used not only for threats or acts of terrorism but also in response to major natural disasters or man-made emergencies.
The plan recognizes a new term, the Incident of National Significance. It describes such an incident as having a high impact requiring an extensive ad well-coordinated response by federal, state, local, tribal and non-governmental authorities to save lives, minimize damage and provide the basis for long-term community and economic recovery.
The Emergency Support Function Annexes include details on capabilities and resources needed during an incident, including transportation.