Pursuant to the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) was developed to enhance the ability of federal, state, and local emergency responders to manage domestic incidents via a single, comprehensive framework regardless of the cause, size, or complexity of an incident. NIMS guidance allows organizations and agencies to work together and effectively manage incidents involving all threats and hazards in order to reduce loss of life and property, as well as harm to the environment.
First established in March of 2004, NIMS guidance was revised in December 2008. Since that update, the US has faced a number of complex threats and emergencies. In 2016, NIMS will be refreshed again (see the 2016 NIMS draft) to retain key concepts and principles from earlier versions, while also incorporating lessons from real world incidents, exercises, and best practices. It also provides enhanced guidance on information management processes to improve data collection, social media integration, and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) working draft of the refreshed NIMS includes input from stakeholders across the US. However, in order to further improve these updates, FEMA is seeking feedback from all agencies and organizations with knowledge and experience utilizing NIMS.
New Jersey's critical infrastructure partners and homeland security stakeholders are encouraged to participate and provide input on how to improve NIMS guidance. With experience in responding to and mitigating the effects of recent disasters, operators in New Jersey are uniquely positioned to inform future iterations of NIMS. As the lead agency for emergency management in New Jersey, input from state departments and agencies is coordinated through the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
After the engagement period ends on May 9th, FEMA will review all comments to update NIMS in 2016. The FEMA Administrator and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary will approve the final changes and the updates will be published and announced through the NIMS Alert System. All associated NIMS guides, training, and other supporting material will be updated by FEMA to align with the 2016 NIMS update.