Unit 2: Understanding
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; Provides a brief overview of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
; Introduces Multiagency Coordination Systems.
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At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
; Define multiagency coordination at the local, tribal, State, and Federal levels of government. ; Identify the functions and elements of a Multiagency Coordination (MAC) System. ; Describe the difference between command and coordination.
Note: The ICS 400 Advanced Incident Command System (ICS) course presents more detailed training on Multiagency Coordination Systems.
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Complex 21st century threats demand that all Americans share responsibility for homeland security. All levels of government, the private sector, and nongovernmental agencies must be prepared to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from a wide spectrum of major events that exceed the capabilities of any single entity. These hazards require a unified and coordinated national approach to planning and to domestic incident management.
To address this need, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5: Management of Domestic Incidents (HSPD-5) and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8: National Preparedness (HSPD-8) establish national initiatives that develop a common approach to preparedness and response.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF) provide the process and structures for meeting these mandates. Together, these related efforts align Federal, State, local, tribal, private-sector, and nongovernmental preparedness, incident management, and emergency response plans into an effective and efficient national structure.
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; Is a guide to how the Nation conducts all-hazards response.
; Builds upon the NIMS coordinating structures to align key roles and responsibilities across
the Nation, linking all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private
The NRF is comprised of:
; The Core Document, which describes the doctrine that guides our national response, roles
and responsibilities, response actions, response organizations, and planning requirements
to achieve an effective national response to any incident that occurs. ; Emergency Support Function Annexes that identify Federal resources and capabilities
that are most frequently needed in a national response (e.g., Transportation, Firefighting,
; Support Annexes that describe essential supporting aspects that are common to all
incidents (e.g., Financial Management, Volunteer and Donations Management, Private-
; Incident Annexes that address the unique aspects of how we respond to seven broad
categories or types of incidents (e.g., Biological, Nuclear/Radiological, Cyber, Mass
; Partner Guides that provide ready references describing key roles and actions for local,
tribal, State, Federal, and private-sector response partners.
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The NRF provides the broad response doctrine, while NIMS includes greater detail on the processes used to manage a response.
; Defines what needs to be done to prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and
recover from a major event, how it needs to be done, and how well it needs to be done. ; Provides a systematic approach for all levels of government, the private sector, and
nongovernmental organizations to work seamlessly together.
; Applies to all incidents regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. ; Integrates existing best practices into a consistent, nationwide approach to domestic
; Is applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines in an all-hazards
Note that the NRF reinforces that incidents should be managed using NIMS principles and structures.
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Refer to items on the visual stating ―What NIMS Is‖ and ―What NIMS Is Not.‖
Indicate if you are consistent or inconsistent with NIMS:
; Local officials are using the Incident Command System (ICS) to plan for the upcoming
Fourth of July celebration.
; A jurisdiction/agency follows NIMS only when incidents are complex enough to
involve other jurisdictions.
; An agency is replacing its operational plan for responding to incidents with the
guidance provided in NIMS.
; An organization is reorganizing and using NIMS/ICS titles for day-to-day routine
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ICS is only one facet of NIMS. Following is a synopsis of each major component of NIMS:
; Preparedness. Effective incident management and incident response activities begin with a
host of preparedness activities conducted on an ongoing basis, in advance of any potential
incident. Preparedness involves an integrated combination of planning, procedures and
protocols, training and exercises, personnel qualification and certification, and equipment
; Communications and Information Management. Emergency management and incident
response activities rely on communications and information systems that provide a common
operating picture to all command and coordination sites. NIMS describes the requirements
necessary for a standardized framework for communications and emphasizes the need for a
common operating picture. NIMS is based on the concepts of interoperability, reliability,
scalability, portability, and the resiliency and redundancy of communications and information
; Resource Management. Resources (such as personnel, equipment, and/or supplies) are
needed to support critical incident objectives. The flow of resources must be fluid and
adaptable to the requirements of the incident. NIMS defines standardized mechanisms and
establishes the resource management process to: identify requirements for, order and
acquire, mobilize, track and report, recover and demobilize, reimburse for, and inventory
(Continued on next page.)
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; Command and Management. The Command and Management component within NIMS is
designed to enable effective and efficient incident management and coordination by
providing flexible, standardized incident management structures. The structure is based on
three key organizational constructs: the Incident Command System, Multiagency
Coordination Systems, and Public Information.
; Ongoing Management and Maintenance. DHS/FEMA manages the development and
maintenance of NIMS. This includes developing NIMS programs and processes as well as
keeping the NIMS document current.
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