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About NDMS

The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) supports the Federal medical response to natural or manmade disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes and floods, transportation accidents, and terrorist acts involving weapons of mass destruction. The NDMS is a federally coordinated system that augments the Nation’s medical response capability. The overall purpose of the NDMS is to supplement an integrated national medical response capability for assisting state and local authorities in dealing with the medical impacts of major peacetime disasters and to provide support to the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical systems in caring for casualties evacuated back to the U.S. from overseas armed conventional conflicts. NDMS hires intermittent employees to respond to the various Public Health and Medical Emergencies.

The National Response Framework utilizes the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), as part of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Preparedness and Response, under Emergency Support Function #8 (ESF #8), Health and Medical Services, to support Federal agencies in the management and coordination of the Federal medical response to major emergencies and federally declared disasters.

When activated as a Federal employee of NDMS, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, employees are covered under the provisions of section 2812(c)(2) and (d)(2) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, which pertain to liability coverage and compensation for work injuries respectively.  Section 2812(d)(3) of the PHS Act provides for service as an NDMS team employee to be considered as “service in the uniformed services” during activations and authorized training activities.  As such, when NDMS employees are activated to provide health and other services to respond to victims of a public health emergency or to be present at locations at risk of a public health emergency (which, for example, may include activations in response to a disaster, major emergency, and special event) or when activated to participate in a Federal exercise or other official training, these personnel fall under the employment and reemployment rights provisions of chapter 43, title 38 of the U.S. Code, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).


To serve the Federal response by providing disaster medical care to the nation.


It is the mission of the National Disaster Medical System to temporarily supplement Federal, Tribal, State and Local capabilities by funding, organizing, training, equipping, deploying and sustaining a specialized and focused range of public health and medical capabilities.

Components of the National Disaster Medical System

Medical response to a disaster area in the form of personnel, teams and individuals, supplies, and equipment.
Patient movement from a disaster site to unaffected areas of the nation. Definitive medical care at participating hospitals in unaffected areas.


HHS Brochure
NDMS Brochure