Hear ye! Hear ye! On October 10, 2017, FEMA released the third edition of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which serves as the framework of emergency management and incident response for public and private sector organizations across the U.S. So, what does this mean to you?

It means that you now have access to the very latest processes, protocols and procedures to effectively manage “a full spectrum of potential hazards, and impacts, regardless of size, location or complexity,” as explained by FEMA. And, that you should take the necessary steps to review, understand, and comply with NIMS in order to remain eligible for federal preparedness assistance.

NIMS Third Edition includes pertinent information, including recommendations and best practices, pertaining to three key areas. These are:

  1. Resource Management
  2. Command and Coordination
  3. Communication and Information Management

So, why the update, and why now? FEMA knows all too well that the landscape has changed (and changed drastically) since the original release of NIMS in 2004, and the publishing of its second edition in 2008. Besides, the Agency is charged with “managing and maintaining it in accordance with the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act.”

Per Brock Long, Administrator for FEMA, “…our Nation has made great strides in working together before, during, and after emergencies and planned events.” NIMS Third Edition incorporates these advancements, along with various other best practices and recommendations, to provide relevant, expert guidance to any organization with an active role in emergency management and incident response.

FEMA started the revision process in May 2006. Stakeholder input was obtained through working groups representing over 100 entities from Federal, state, tribal and local governments, the private sector and non-government organizations. Furthermore, stakeholders represented a broad spectrum of emergency management and incident response disciplines.

As stated in NIMS Third Edition, “Three national comment periods were used to gather widespread and diverse stakeholder input for the NIMS document. During the comment periods, more than 280 individuals and organizations provided approximately 6,000 comments. This process allowed the NIC (National Integration Center) to receive and incorporate a wide range of feedback from stakeholders, while maintaining the core concepts of NIMS.”

BOLDplanning Makes NIMS Recommendations

Among those offering recommendations for the refreshed NIMS was BOLDplanning, an industry leader in online planning software for Emergency Operations Planning (EOP), Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Planning (COOP/COG), and Hazard Mitigation Planning (HMP). These recommendations pertained to the interpretation of ESF (Emergency Support Function) roles inside the ICS (Incident Command System) model. And, they were adopted!

Want to learn more about NIMS Third Edition? You’re in luck. FEMA will host a series of 60-minute webinars with stakeholders to discuss the updates in the refreshed NIMS and answer questions related to it. All webinars are open to the whole community. For webinar dates, times, and registration information, visit: https://www.fema.gov/latest-news-updates.

Want to learn more about BOLDplanning and its NIMS-compliant online planning solutions, email info@BOLDplanning.com.

And, remember (as the NIC puts so eloquently), “NIMS is about unifying how we respond. In time of crisis, our communities and country count on us to be able to work together as a team. We all must commit to a common way of doing business. And, that way of doing business is NIMS.”