Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnerships play large roles in our national approach to emergency management.

Partnerships are collaborative relationships built on:

  • Needs: Each member of a partnership has resources or support it needs from the partnership.
  • Capabilities: Each member of the partnership brings its own unique set of capabilities that can be leveraged.
  • Two-way communication: Partners should communicate their needs as well as their capabilities to all members of the partnership.
A partnership is a tool to help address resource challenges, coordinate preparedness efforts, and assist in prioritizing recovery efforts. Partnerships.
can be formed to:

  • Address a specific incident
  • Bring together groups in geographic area
  • Represent a common interest
Public-private partnerships are not always the best approach for every situation, but it is often a highly effective method of bringing private sector organizations to the table as part of a comprehensive emergency management strategy.

Partnerships & the Emergency Management System


Preparedness involves actions and initiatives developed prior to an incident that are designed to improve the response to, recovery from, and mitigation of future incidents. Public-private partnerships can support preparedness by conducting risk assessments together, doing response planning, conducting training and exercises together that simulate real incidents, and educating the public about disaster preparedness.


Protection involves actions to reduce the vulnerability of critical infrastructure or key resources in order to deter, mitigate, or neutralize terrorist attacks and other emergencies. Public-private partnerships can engage in many protection activities. Examples include continuity of government and operations planning, expansion of security-related information sharing, and sharing information on vulnerabilities related to critical facilities and systems.


Response includes immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. Public-private partnerships can support response activities by providing needed resources such as supplies, volunteers, and shelter.


Recovery from an incident involves the repair of damages, return to normal activities, and attempted recovery of losses. Public-private partnerships can support recovery by engaging in activities such as providing housing, promoting restoration, helping businesses reopen their doors, and identifying lessons learned from an incident.


Mitigation refers to actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects. Supporting retrofitting of buildings and educating the public about mitigation techniques are just a few of the activities public-private partnerships can engage in to support this component of emergency management.