National Incident Management System

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Developed by the Secretary of Homeland Security at the request of the President, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) integrates effective practices in emergency preparedness and response into a comprehensive national framework for incident management. The NIMS will enable responders at all levels to work together more effectively to manage domestic incidents no matter what the cause, size or complexity.

The benefits of the NIMS system include:

  • Standardized organizational structures, processes, and procedures
  • Standards for planning, training, and exercising, and personnel  qualification standards
  • Equipment acquisition and certification standards
  • Interoperable communications processes, procedures, and systems
  • Information management systems
  • Supporting technologies – voice, and data communications systems, information systems, data display systems and specialized technologies

The creation of NIMS as a result of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, also laid out requirements to achieve NIMS compliance across the federal government and the nation.


NIMS Compliance

These requirements were further codified from Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5 into law when they were included in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law No: 108-458 signed by President Bush on December 17, 2004.

Letter to Governors from Secretary of Homeland Security

Mark Sanford, then the Governor of South Carolina, issued Executive order 2005-12 on June 3, 2005, directing the adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as the standard for incident management in the state. Local jurisdictions are encouraged to adopt NIMS for emergency management and incident response.

Adopting the National Incident Management System