There’s always room for improvement. That’s why (as discussed in a previous BOLDplanning blog post) FEMA released the third edition of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in October 2017. Even more recently (November 2017), FEMA made available a new version of its Incident Command System (ICS), which is one of the most important “best practices” ever incorporated into NIMS.

ICS has been established by NIMS as the standardized organizational structure for the management of all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity.

Details about these integrated FEMA systems are lengthy, but crucial for better emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. For this reason, FEMA and its Emergency Management Institute (EMI) are making every effort to help practitioners understand and implement the latest changes in a timely fashion. So is online planning solutions and services provider, BOLDplanning, and for good reasons.

NIMS 2017 strengthens guidance for effective incident management in a number of ways. Among them, and as described by FEMA, it:

  • Reflects and incorporates policy updates from lessons learned from exercises, real-world incidents, and disasters
  • Clarifies that NIMS is more than just ICS, and that it applies to all incident personnel—from the incident command post to the National Response Coordination Center
  • Demonstrates the applicability of NIMS to all five mission areas (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery)
  • Provides expanded Emergency Operations Center (EOC) guidance based on input from local, state, tribal and territorial EOC leaders
  • Describes common functions and terminology for staff in EOCs, while remaining flexible to allow for differing missions, authorities, and resources of EOCs across the nation
  • Enhances guidance on information management processes

Improve your knowledge and your operation’s incident response capabilities. A number of resources (learning material and 2008-2017 bridging content) is currently available to help you get your head around NIMS/ICS 2017. They are:

FEMA National Incident Management System

The Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT)

The Intelligence and Investigations Guide

NIMS Reusable Learning Objects

NIMS/ ICS Resources and Section 508 Compliant NIMS Forms

FEMA NIMS Training
NIMS Doctrine Supporting Guides & Tools

FEMA and EMI will also sponsor two more 60-minute webinars on the topic this month. These webinars address the transition in training to the October 2017 NIMS document concepts, and are focused on assisting those responsible for developing or managing NIMS training programs and instructors across the whole community. Best of all, these webinars are completely free and open to everyone, so join in if your schedule allows.