The Army's Role in Domestic Disaster Support

An Assessment of Policy Choices

by John Y. Schrader


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.9 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback50 pages $13.00 $10.40 20% Web Discount

This report begins identifying the central issues for determining the appropriate Army role in disaster relief. The study finds three potential options for an expanded Army role in civil emergency response: (1) continue to support the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA's) leadership of disaster response planning; (2) expand the Director of Military Support office to include formal state liaison offices; and (3) designate civil disaster support as a fifth pillar of national defense strategy and incorporate disaster-support missions into the Army's primary missions. The last two options expand the Army's current role and will require both internal changes and outside actions. While weighing these options and examining the issues surrounding them, the Army should take three steps to make its force ready to meet the current expectations of the American people in the event of a disaster at home: (1) transfer executive authority for military support from the Secretary of the Army to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; (2) support formal acceptance of civil disaster response as a mission for both active and reserve forces; and (3) review legal constraints on military participation in civil disaster relief.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.