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Does Your Company Incorporate the 12 Key NIMS Components?

Posted on Thu, Mar 31, 2016

As part of the response to the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initialized the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in February 2003. The comprehensive system provides a consistent approach to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any domestic incident regardless of the cause, size or complexity.

“NIMS is a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector in working together seamlessly and managing incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, loss of property, and harm to the environment.” - FEMA

Over the years, additions and changes have been implemented, yet the basic function, scope, and principles remain unchanged. Effective and consistent NIMS integration among the private sector can also result in a strengthened preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities, minimizing the duration and effects of incidents. In order to integrate NIMS into private sector companies, FEMA suggest the following 12 core concepts.

  1. Communicate intention: Local fire and rescue, law enforcement, hospitals and healthcare systems, transportation systems, public works, voluntary agencies, private industry and any other entity that may be responding to an incident should be informed that your company/facility will be adopting NIMS.
  2. Identify Points of Contact: Ensure you have up-to-date contact information for local response authorities and the facility/company personnel.
  3. Support an integrated multiagency coordination: Pre planning coordination efforts among the different emergency management entities offers the opportunity for a more cohesive response. The Unified Command and the Liaison Officer may be able to provide the needed multiagency coordination at the scene. However, as an incident grows in size and complexity, off-site support and coordination may be required.
  4. Establish a public information system: During an incident, gather, verify, coordinate, and disseminate information both internally and externally as directed by the communication plan or public relations designee.
  5. Revise Plans: Response plans and standard operating procedures should incorporate NIMS components, principles and policies, to include planning, training, response, exercises, equipment, evaluation, and corrective actions.
  6. Promote Mutual Aid: Establish a memorandum of understanding/agreement with the government agencies and other private sector organizations to share resources and personnel.
  7. Maintain NIMS Training: Company emergency preparedness personnel, as well as any emergency responders or teams (fire brigade/EMS), should adopt NIMS training programs.
  8. Coordinated Exercises: Conduct both small and large-scale onsite exercises with internal and external responders. The facility/company should also participate in State, regional, tribal, and/or local NIMS-based exercises when possible.
  9. Inventory Response Assets: An inventory of internal and external response assets should be conducted in conjunction with identified threats and risks. These assets should be inclusive enough to counteract any potential incident. The availability of inventory should be shared with local emergency management authorities.
  10. Coordinate Mutual Aid Requests: Exercise your response asset inventory during exercises and training opportunities.
  11. Use Common Language and Communication Platforms: Apply standardized and consistent terminology, including the establishment common communications technology and practices. These platforms and practices should be shared within the company, other private sector partners, and local emergency response groups.
  12. Implement the Incident Command System (ICS): ICS is the recognized, standardized, organizational structure designed to enable an integrated response, despite its complexity, response demands, or jurisdictional boundaries. The application the Incident Command System (ICS) is critical to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the organization. By instituting these best practices into a site-specific response structure, a company is more likely to effectively manage and mitigate the consequences of an emergency.

Note: Non-governmental organizations and private sector entities entitled to receive Federal preparedness funding or grants are required to coordinate NIMS implementation with their respective State Administrative Agency in order to be eligible for funding.

Multiple Facility Response Planning Company Preparedness Guide DOWNLOAD

Tags: NIMS

National Incident Management System: 15-Question Quiz to test your knowledge!

Posted on Mon, Dec 09, 2013

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the consistent emergency management structure that has been adopted by countless companies to create a more effective, coordinated emergency response. According to FEMA, NIMS provides “a consistent nationwide template to enable Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity, including acts of catastrophic terrorism.”

With properly trained employees, many emergency situations can be handled on-site without external responders. However, if an emergency has the potential to exceed the scope of employee training, a unified incident management approach enables multiple entities to respond with one accepted management system. Adopting NIMS facilitates the ability for internal and external responders to collaborate through common operating principles, terminology, and organizational processes to improve response interoperability. The goal, and typical result of NIMS, is a coordinated, faster, and more effective resolution.

Company emergency preparedness personnel, as well as any emergency responders or teams (fire brigade/EMS), can adopt NIMS training programs. The Department of Homeland Security has developed Frequently Asked Questions regarding NIMS.  Below is a sampling of those questions in quiz form to determine your NIMS proficiency.

1. Which is NOT a component of NIMS?
a. Preparedness
b. Communications and Information Management
c. Response Plan
d. Command and Management  

2. Without ICS in place, which of the following often exists?
a. A lack of accountability
b. Poor communication
c. Neither a nor b
d. Both a and b  

3. Which factor encourages jurisdictions to implement NIMS:
a. Federal funding eligibility
b. Pension eligibility
c. Tax exemptions
d. Training exemptions  

4. Which of the following is NOT one of the three primary components of national incident response?
a. NIMS
b. EOP
c. ICS
d. NRF  

5. Which of the following describes NIMS?
a. A set of preparedness concepts and principles for all hazards
b. A response plan
c. Specific to certain emergency management/incident response personnel
d. Reserved for large-scale emergencies  

6. Which is NOT one of the three primary implications of the evolving nature of the NIMS, implementation, and compliance?
a. Dedicated resources must for NIMS implementation must be retained on an ongoing basis
b. A new incident commander must be named at the beginning of each fiscal year
c. Compliance demands implementation on prior activities even when new regulations are put forth
d. From year to year, structures and processes that jurisdictions have implemented may change, or even be eliminated

7. Which of the following FEMA directors was the first to have had prior emergency management experience? 

a. John Macy
b. Louis Guiffrida
c. General Julius Becton
d. James Lee Witt  

8. ICS is designed to
a. Meet the needs of incidents of any kind or size.
b. Provide a site-specific response plan
c. Provide logistical and administrative support to operational staff
d. Both A and C
e. Both A and B  

9. True or False - Private industry must comply with NIMS requirements in order to receive federal tax incentives.
a. True
b. False  

10. Which of the following is an ICS concept states that personnel report to only one supervisor, and maintain formal communication relationships only with that supervisor.
a. Unity of Command
b. Unified Command System
c. Singular Command Structure
d. Mono-command

11. State governments also maintain mutual aid contracts with other states, called:
a. Emergency Management Assistance Compacts (EMACs)
b. Collaborative Support Systems (CSSs) 
c. Intrastate Emergency Management Contracts (IEMCs)
d. None of the above  

12. According to NIMS, all functions of response and recovery are dependent upon ____________ and ___________.
a. Logistics and budget
b. Public perception and reputation
c. Communication and coordination
d. Stakeholder input and stock valuation  

13.  Transfer of Command occurs when:
a. A more qualified person assumes command
b. There is normal turnover of personnel on extended incidents
c. The incident response is concluded and responsibility can be transferred to the home agency, company or, facility
d. All of the above  

14. The Secretary of Homeland Security, through the ________________, publishes the standards, guidelines, and compliance protocols for determining whether a Federal, State, tribal, or local government has implemented NIMS.
a. National Intelligence Council (NIC)
b. National Integration Center (NIC)
c. Incident Command System (ICS)
d. Implementation Coordination System (ICS)  

15. Which is NOT one of the seven strategies for emergency operations
a. Mobility
b. Rescue
c. Ventilation
d. Containment

ANSWERS
1). c
2). d
3). a
4). b
5). a
6). b
7). d
8). d
9). b
10). a
11). a
12). c
13). d
14). b
15). a

For a free download on how to conduct an effective emergency exercise, click the image below:

TRP Corp Emergency Response Planning Exercises

Tags: DHS, Incident Management, Training and Exercises, Department of Homeland Security, Workplace Safety, NIMS