This section of the website provides information on the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS is intended to be used by the whole community. The intended audience for this section is individuals, families, communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal governments.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS)
Release of the Senior Leaders Toolkit
FEMA’s National Integration Center has released a Senior Leader Toolkit, a resource that both emergency management and senior leaders can use to understand their role and responsibility during incidents.
The toolkit includes Elected Officials/Senior Executives Quick Reference Guide, a Department Head Quick Reference Guide, and a NIMS Senior Leader Briefing Template.
The Senior Leaders Toolkit can be found here: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/179047
Release of the Refreshed NIMS Doctrine
FEMA released the refreshed National Incident Management System (NIMS) doctrine on October 17, 2017. NIMS provides a common, nationwide approach to enable the whole community to work together to manage all threats and hazards. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity.
In April and May 2016, FEMA held a 30-day National Engagement Period, in which stakeholders submitted nearly 3,000 comments and provided feedback on the draft NIMS update, ensuring that it reflects the collective expertise and experience of the whole community.
The refreshed NIMS retains key concepts and principles from the 2004 and 2008 versions, while incorporating lessons learned from exercises and real-world incidents, best practices, and changes in national policy.
Download the refreshed NIMS here: www.fema.gov/nims-doctrine-supporting-guides-tools
The refreshed NIMS:
- Retains key concepts and principles of the 2004 and 2008 versions of NIMS;
- Reflects and incorporates policy updates and lessons learned from exercises and real-incidents;
- Clarifies the processes and terminology for qualifying, certifying, and credentialing incident personnel, building a foundation for the development of a national qualification system;
- Clarifies that NIMS is more than just the Incident Command System (ICS) and that it applies to all incident personnel, from the incident command post to the National Response Coordination Center;
- Describes common functions and terminology for staff in Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), while remaining flexible to allow for differing missions, authorities, and resources of EOCs across the nation; and
- Explains the relationship among ICS, EOCs, and senior leaders/policy groups.
NIMS guides all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector to work together to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from incidents. NIMS provides stakeholders across the whole community with the shared vocabulary, systems, and processes to successfully deliver the capabilities described in the National Preparedness System. NIMS defines operational systems, including the Incident Command System (ICS), Emergency Operations Center (EOC) structures, and Multiagency Coordination Groups (MAC Groups) that guide how personnel work together during incidents. NIMS applies to all incidents, from traffic accidents to major disasters.
Please refer to the descriptions below to gain an understanding of where to locate certain information.
NIMS Doctrine Supporting Guides & Tools: The National Integration Center develops supporting guides and tools to assist jurisdictions in their implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Training: The NIMS Training Program defines the national NIMS training program. It specifies National Integration Center and stakeholder responsibilities and activities for developing, maintaining and sustaining NIMS training.
Resource Management & Mutual Aid: National resource management efforts aid a unified approach in building and delivering the core capabilities across all five mission areas (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery). Effective resource management is founded on the guiding principles of the NIMS.
Implementation Guidance & Reporting: Federal Departments and agencies are required to make adoption of NIMS by local, state, territorial, and tribal nation jurisdictions a condition to receive Federal Preparedness grants and awards.
NIMS Alerts: The National Integration Center announces the release of new NIMS guidance, tools, and other resources through the distribution of NIMS Alerts.
FEMA NIMS Regional Contacts: The FEMA Regional NIMS Coordinators act as subject matter experts regarding NIMS for the state, local, territorial, and tribal nation governments within their FEMA Region, as well as for the FEMA Regional Administrator and staff.
Incident Command System Resources: The Incident Command System (ICS) is a fundamental element of incident management. The use of ICS provides standardization through consistent terminology and established organizational structures.