9. NIMS is applicable to all stakeholders with incident related responsibilities: A guide for incident management

What is NIMS?

NIMS stands for National Incident Management System, a standardized approach to incident management developed by the United States Department of Homeland Security. The program was established in March 2004, in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive -5, issued by President George W. Bush.

According to the official website of NIMS, the system provides a common, nationwide approach to enable the whole community to work together to manage all threats and hazards. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity.

What are the benefits of NIMS?

NIMS provides a number of benefits for incident management, such as:

  • Enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector entities
  • Improving resource management and allocation
  • Establishing common standards and terminology for incident command and communication
  • Promoting interoperability and compatibility among systems and technologies
  • Supporting continuous improvement and learning through training, exercises, and evaluation

Who are the stakeholders of NIMS?

NIMS is applicable to all stakeholders with incident related responsibilities. These include:

  • Emergency management and response personnel
  • Law enforcement and security agencies
  • Public health and medical providers
  • Public works and utility operators
  • Transportation and logistics providers
  • Communications and information technology providers
  • Firefighters and hazardous materials responders
  • Search and rescue teams
  • Mass care and sheltering providers
  • Environmental protection and restoration providers
  • Private sector organizations and businesses
  • Non-governmental organizations and community groups
  • Individuals and households

How can stakeholders use NIMS?

Stakeholders can use NIMS to effectively manage incidents by following the five key components of the system:

  • Preparedness: Stakeholders should develop plans, policies, procedures, agreements, training, and exercises to prepare for incidents.
  • Communications and Information Management: Stakeholders should use common terminology, data standards, systems, and platforms to share information during incidents.
  • Resource Management: Stakeholders should identify, request, mobilize, track, and demobilize resources during incidents.
  • Command and Coordination: Stakeholders should use the Incident Command System (ICS), Multiagency Coordination Systems (MACS), and Public Information Systems (PIS) to establish command and coordination structures during incidents.
  • Ongoing Management and Maintenance: Stakeholders should conduct reviews, assessments, corrective actions, and revisions to maintain and improve NIMS.


NIMS is a comprehensive framework for incident management that applies to all stakeholders with incident related responsibilities. By using NIMS, stakeholders can enhance their collaboration, efficiency, effectiveness, and resilience in managing incidents of any type or scale.

Doms Desk

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