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