The federal government has issued an updated strategy plan for responding to natural and man-made disasters.
"The National Response Framework, designed to replace the 2004 National Response Plan, became official March 22."
"The framework includes instructions for federal, state and local authorities; the private sector; and nongovernmental organizations."
"Homeland Security Department officials say they are confident that the framework is an improvement over the 2004 plan, which critics say was too complicated and did not focus enough on the role of nonfederal organizations in disaster response."
"The new document is broader in scope, partly because of lessons learned from using the earlier plan and the response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, DHS officials said. It was released in draft form two months ago, and lawmakers, nongovernmental organizations and state-level emergency managers have welcomed it as a step forward."