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The National Incident Management System (NIMS)

Most Emergencies are handled locally, however when there's a major incident help may be needed from the private sector, neighboring jurisdictions & counties, the state and the federal government. NIMS was developed so responders from the private sector, different jurisdictions and diciplines can work together when responding to any natural and man caused emergency including acts of terrorism. NIMS benefits include a unified approach to incident management, standard command and management structures, with an emphasis on preparedness, mutual aid and resource management.

NIMS Background

On February 28, 2003 President Bush signed Homeland Security Directive 5. This required the Director of the Department of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System.

The National Incident Management System was issued March 1, 2004. NIMS provides a national system to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. The objective is to ensure that all levels of government across the nation have the capability to work together using a national approach to domestic incident management.

NMS is a set of doctrines, concepts, principles, terms and processes that are applicable to all hazards. NIMS is not an operations plan, resource allocation plan, terrorism specific plan or designed to address international events.

The Six Components of NIMS

1. Command & Management - The NIMS structure is based on the incident command system, multi agency coordination system and public information system.

2. Preparedness - NIMS establishes specific measures and capabilities for jurisdictions to develop and incorportate plans for incident management in an all hazard context.

3. Resource Management - NIMS establishes a system to inventory, track and dispatch resources before, during and after an incident. It also defines a standard to recover resources when they are no longer needed.

4. Communications & Information Management - NIMS provides an information and interoperable communications system for incident management at all levels.

5. Supporting Technologies - NIMS promotes national standards for technologies that support emergency activities.

6. Ongoing Management & Maintenance - The NIMS integration center provides state and local direction, oversight and suppport for the implemention and continuous improvement of the NIMS system.

Who Does NIMS Affect?

* Elected & Appointed Government Officials

* Career & Volunteer Emergency Response Organizations

* Law Enforcement

* Public Utilities

* Any Other Organization That Supports Emergency Activities

For more information about NIMS check out the links in the left hand margin.