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 National Incident Management System (LMS)

On February 28, 2003, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD–5), “Management of Domestic Incidents,” which directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment.

Building on existing structures, such as the Incident Command System (ICS) NIMS creates a proactive system to assist those responding to incidents of planned events. To unite the practice of emergency management and incident response nationwide, NIMS focuses on five key areas or components. The components of NIMS were not designed to stand alone, but work together in a flexible, systematic manner. These components are as follows:

  • Preparedness
    • Preparedness involves an integrated combination of assessment; planning; procedures and protocols; training and exercises; personnel qualifications, licensure, and certification; equipment certification; and evaluation and revision.
  • Communications and Information Management
    • This component is based on the concepts of interoperability, reliability, scalability, and portability, as well as the resiliency and redundancy of communications and information systems.
  • Resource Management
    • NIMS defines standardized mechanisms and establishes the resource management process to identify requirements, order and acquire, mobilize, track and report, recover and demobilize, reimburse, and inventory resources.
  • Command and Management
    • The Command and Management component of NIMS is designed to enable effective and efficient incident management and coordination by providing a flexible, standardized incident management structure. The structure is based on three key organizational constructs: the Incident Command System, Multiagency Coordination Systems, and Public Information.
  • Ongoing Management and Maintenance-this consists of the NIC and Supporting Technologies
    • The National Integration Center: The NIC also oversees and coordinates the publication of NIMS and its related products. This oversight includes the review and certification of training courses and exercise information.
    • Supporting Technologies: The NIC, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, oversees and coordinates the ongoing development of incident management-related technology, including strategic research and development.

NIMSCAST is designed as a web-based self-assessment instrument for all levels of government to evaluate and report their jurisdiction’s progress and achievement of NIMS implementation activities. Each federal fiscal year, the compliance objectives for NIMS are updated. These updated objectives are the matrix to compare jurisdictions compliance against. Compliance is mandatory for any organization receiving Homeland Security Grant Program funding. Compliance is also mandated within the State of Louisiana, through R.S. 29:722, C, which states, “It is further declared to be the purpose of this Chapter and the policy of the State of Louisiana that all homeland security and emergency preparedness functions of the State shall follow the principles outlined in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) or its successor.”