From the Introduction: "Elected and appointed leaders -- subsequently referred to as 'senior officials' -- balance many responsibilities and are expected to serve in numerous roles to support and lead their jurisdiction.
These responsibilities range from establishing policies and budgets that influence residents' livelihoods to answering questions from members of the community and media.
Responsibilities increase during disasters and senior officials cannot conduct their jobs alone. The public often sees senior officials as responsible for the success or failure of disaster response and recovery efforts.
Communities can respond more effectively during disasters when their senior officials are familiar with emergency management processes and have established relationships with their emergency managers.
Senior officials make significant policy and resource decisions before, during and after disasters.
For example, in the aftermath of a disaster, senior officials may work closely with the private sector and local and state government organizations to allocate scarce resources. By collaborating with emergency managers, senior officials can better understand the needs of the community and be able to make informed decisions.
This guide provides an overview of how senior officials can prepare and respond to disasters to save lives, lead disaster recovery operations and build more resilient communities."