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NIMS - National Incident Management System

Pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5), beginning in FY05, adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a requirement for receipt of federal preparedness funds, including grants, contracts and other activities. As such, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourages State, Local, Territorial and Tribal grantees to use NIMS concepts, principles, terminology, and technologies as they are made available by DHS.

The NIMS is the nation’s first-ever standardized approach to incident management and response. The NIMS unifies Federal, State, territorial, tribal and local lines of government into one coordinated effort. This integrated system makes America safer by establishing a uniform set of processes, protocols, and procedures that all emergency responders, at every level of government, will use to conduct response actions. This system ensures that those involved in emergency response operations understand what their roles are and have the tools they need to be effective.

This system encompasses much more than the Incident Command System (ICS), although ICS is a critical component of the NIMS. It also provides a common foundation for training and other preparedness efforts, communicating and sharing information with other responders and with the public, ordering resources to assist with a response effort, and for integrating new technologies and standards to support incident management. For the first time, all of the nation’s emergency responders will use a common language, and a common set of procedures when working individually and together to keep America safe. The NIMS ensures that they will have the same preparation, the same goals and expectations, and most importantly, they will be speaking the same language.


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