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What is ' NIMS'?
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was created by the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) . The final version of NIMS was released on March 1, 2004 , however, a number of sections of the NIMS will continue to be refined. HSPD-5 requires that beginning in federal fiscal year 2005 (FFY05), all federal departments and agencies make the adoption of NIMS a prerequisite for State and local governments to receive federal preparedness assistance (defined by Secretary Ridge as grants or contracts that contribute to building preparedness and response capabilities). The federal NIMS Integration Center has identified over fifty grant programs that are considered preparedness assistance. Secretary Ridge issued guidance to the Governors in September 2004 detailing actions that must be completed in FFY05 to be NIMS compliant.
The NIMS is intended to provide a consistent, flexible, and adjustable national framework to enable Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and private sector and nongovernmental organizations to work together effectively and efficiently to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity, including acts of catastrophic terrorism. Based upon this goal, the NIMS consists of the following components :
The Department of Homeland Security, through Secretary Ridge letter, has only established baseline compliance requirements for the Command and Management component of NIMS. The State continues to monitor and review the Department of Homeland Security/NIMS Integration Center guidance to determine when other components of NIMS will be completed and implementation requirements established.
The steps required to achieve compliance with those portions of NIMS implementation outlined in Secretary Ridge letter and supporting guidance from the NIMS Integration Center are:
Advantages of 'NIMS'
NIMS incorporates incident management best practices developed and proven by thousands of responders and authorities across America. These practices, coupled with consistency and national standardization, will now be carried forward throughout all incident management processes: exercises, qualification and certification, communications interoperability, doctrinal changes, training, and publications, public affairs, equipping, evaluating, and incident management. All of these measures unify the response community as never before.
Requirement of Being 'NIMS Compliant'
NIMS compliance is a prerequisite to obtaining any federal preparedness assistance (defined by Secretary Ridge as “grants or contracts that contribute to building preparedness and response capabilities”). Federal preparedness assistance includes (but is not limited to) the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the Homeland Security Grant Program, the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant Program, and the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement. The most basic analysis of who should get NIMS training is: “Does the person have incident response, asset coordination or policy setting responsibility for response efforts?” If the answer is yes to any of these, then NIMS training is needed.
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