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Chapter 6: Response > Conclusion - Pg. 351

Chapter 6 · Response 351 chief executive, who then decides whether to declare a disaster and appeal to the next level of govern- ment (usually a state, regional, or provincial leader) for assistance. If the government executive to whom the appeal was made determines that assistance is war- ranted upon assessing the information, he will recognize the disaster declaration and dedicate response resources. If, however, he finds that those levels of resources are insufficient in managing the event's consequences, he will appeal to the national leadership for additional assistance. The national chief executive, usually the president or prime minister, must assess the situation using the provided infor- mation and decide whether the event merits characterization as a national disaster. If the situation is declared a national disaster, national government resources from various departments, agencies, or ministries will be dedicated to the disaster response as dictated in the national disaster plan. Addition- ally, any money from a dedicated disaster response fund will be freed up for spending on the various costs associated with the disaster response. In the rare event that the disaster is so great in scope that it overwhelms even the national govern- ment's capacity, the chief executive may issue an international appeal for assistance. This appeal is either made through the nation's established diplomatic channels to mutual aid partners or through the UN Res- ident Representative posted in the country. In most cases, where the world community has recognized the disaster before a formal appeal for assistance, countries will offer various forms of assistance to the affected country or countries, consisting of cash, response and relief services, and supplies. Recognition of the event by the world community is contingent upon the transfer of information and images. If other nations maintain diplomatic missions within the affected country, an immediate assessment of the disaster may be possible, although this is more difficult for events that occur far