What is NIMS?
NIMS stands for National Incident Management System, which is a framework for managing incidents of any size, scope, and complexity in the United States. According to FEMA, NIMS provides a common, nationwide approach to enable the whole community to work together to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from incidents.
NIMS applies across all levels of government, all types of organizations, and all phases of incident management. It is based on the following core components:
- Key concepts and principles
- Resource management
- Command and coordination
- Communications and information management
- Joint information system
- Continuous improvement
Why is NIMS Important?
NIMS is important because it helps to ensure a consistent and coordinated response to incidents that may involve multiple jurisdictions, agencies, disciplines, and sectors. By using NIMS, stakeholders can:
- Enhance their situational awareness and operational coordination
- Establish common standards and terminology for incident management
- Share resources and information effectively and efficiently
- Integrate best practices and lessons learned from previous incidents
- Improve their preparedness and resilience
Who are the Stakeholders with Incident Related Responsibilities?
The stakeholders with incident related responsibilities are those who have a role or interest in the prevention, protection, mitigation, response, or recovery of an incident. They include:
- Federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local governments
- Private sector entities and organizations
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and voluntary organizations
- Critical infrastructure owners and operators
- Community groups and individuals
How does NIMS Apply to All Stakeholders?
NIMS applies to all stakeholders with incident related responsibilities by providing them with a common framework and guidance for managing incidents. NIMS also defines the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in different aspects of incident management, such as:
- Planning: Stakeholders should participate in the development and maintenance of plans, policies, procedures, protocols, and agreements for incident management.
- Organizing: Stakeholders should establish and maintain organizational structures, processes, and systems for incident management.
- Equipping: Stakeholders should acquire, maintain, mobilize, deploy, track, recover, and demobilize resources for incident management.
- Training: Stakeholders should provide training to their personnel on NIMS concepts, principles, processes, and systems.
- Exercising: Stakeholders should conduct exercises to test and evaluate their plans, capabilities, and performance for incident management.
- Evaluating: Stakeholders should collect and analyze data and feedback from incidents and exercises to identify strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and areas for improvement.
- Taking corrective actions: Stakeholders should implement corrective actions to address the findings and recommendations from evaluations.
NIMS is applicable to all stakeholders with incident related responsibilities because it provides a common framework and guidance for managing incidents of any size, scope, and complexity. By using NIMS, stakeholders can enhance their collaboration, communication, coordination, and cooperation for incident management. NIMS also helps stakeholders to improve their preparedness and resilience for future incidents.