Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Emergency Family Assistance (MIL-EFA) 2: EFA Operation

The MFR program uses available resources effectively and efficiently to meet the immediate needs of customers following an all-hazards incident.

2020 Edition




Emergency Family Assistance promotes short and long-term recovery services and aids in the return to a stable environment and mission ready status for DoD personnel following an all-hazards incident.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the programs’ practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance 
A rating of (2) indicates that a programs’ infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. The majority of the standard's requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  Minor inconsistencies and practices that are not fully developed are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that significant aspects of the programs’ observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement. The program has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework. Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised. Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all. Observed infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.

Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for assessing needs of affected customers (MIL-EFA 2.02)
  • Procedures and/or criteria for establishing shift rotations (MIL-EFA 2.05)
  • Description of MFR program supports for staff (MIL-EFA 2.08)
  • Position description of the EFAC coordinator (MIL-EFA 2.01)
  • Completed after-action report(s) following an all-hazards incident, when available (MIL-EFA 2.02)
  • Position description of the volunteer manager, when applicable (MIL-EFA 2.03)
  • Documentation/examples of volunteer recognition efforts, when applicable(MIL-EFA 2.03)
  • Outline of roles and responsibilities of EFAstaff (MIL-EFA 2.04)

MIL-EFA 2.01

When the MFR program establishes an EFAC, an EFAC coordinator oversees operations of the EFAC.

MIL-EFA 2.02

Upon activation of the EFA plan, the MFR program:

  1. activates its system for tracking customers;
  2. assesses the collective needs of customers to ensure appropriate and sufficient supports and services are made available; and
  3. periodically re-assesses and makes arrangements for additional resources as needed. 


Examples of factors to consider during the needs assessment include the type, magnitude and intensity of the incident; spread of onset; duration; the number of people affected; available resources; and the supports being provided by other organizations or institutions. 


The frequency of re-assessments will vary given the type of incident and its duration. Examples of additional resources include staff, equipment, or supplies including food, water, and shelter. 

The needs of those affected by disaster will change over time. It is important that response efforts reflect changes in need so resources can be directed appropriately.

MIL-EFA 2.03

A volunteer manager is responsible for effective, streamlined volunteer coordination including:

  1. checking-in, screening, and tracking volunteers;
  2. volunteer training;
  3. matching volunteers with identified needs;
  4. volunteer monitoring and oversight, including the identification of unmet needs; and
  5. recognition efforts that are timely and inclusive. 


Regarding element (e), the definition of timely recognition efforts may include periodic recognition for ongoing service or one-time recognition following service for short-term volunteer work. 
NA The EFA plan does not include the use of volunteers as part of the EFA response.

MIL-EFA 2.04

Roles and responsibilities of individuals supporting the EFA response are clearly defined and communicated.

MIL-EFA 2.05

The MFR program establishes shift rotations to ensure:

  1. needed coverage, including 24/7 coverage when necessary; and
  2. appropriate time off or breaks for staff, including volunteers, to avoid burnout.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-EFA 2.06

Documentation is protected from unauthorized use, accurate, and formalized to capture:

  1. results of needs assessments and services provided including referrals made;
  2. in-person and telephone contacts and requests;
  3. volunteer information; and
  4. staff availability, emergency contact information, and coverage schedules.

MIL-EFA 2.07

The MFR program handles all media requests in accordance with applicable regulations and in partnership with Public Affairs. 


Fundamental Practice

MIL-EFA 2.08

The MFR program supports emergency preparation for staff by:

  1. encouraging them to have their own plans for keeping their families safe in the event of an all-hazards incident;
  2. setting clear expectations for staff during the response including working hours and shift rotations;
  3. ensuring supports are in place to address mental health needs of staff;
  4. ensuring staff has access to shelter and other resources to meet basic needs; and
  5. accommodating family obligations as necessary and where appropriate.