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Enhancing the Value of NIMS in 2013

As preparedness and homeland security grants and related funding likely diminish in the near future due to the current fiscal challenges and evolving priorities, the updating and enhancing of NIMS becomes even more important at this time. The challenge is to maintain and increase the value and appreciation of NIMS throughout the nation without financial incentives as the primary driver for adoption and compliance. Although it may be a rather cynical view, financial incentives have likely played more of an influencing role for NIMS adoption rather than the simple appreciation of the commonality of the incident command system for NIMS adoption, compliance and implementation. An analysis of the increase in compliance rates does appear to be correlated to guidance, mandates and requirements for grant access and distribution.


Since future preparedness and homeland security funding may not be as easily obtained during the life cycle of the next version of NIMS, we must incorporate an expanded and enhanced value of NIMS into the document to maintain and augment the appreciation of its importance for all hazards and the value of its adoption for the whole of community. Frankly, the next version needs to sell it even more beyond the converted. How do we do it?

Submitted by in May 2013

Comments (6)

  1. Tie any and all federal funding to a given jurisdiction on compliance with;
    1) 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1236, Management of Vital Records.
    2) 41 Code of Federal Regulations 101.20.103-4, Occupant Emergency Program.
    3) Presidential Decision Directive 62, Protection Against Unconventional Threats to
    the Homeland and Americans Overseas, May 22, 1998.
    4) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 1, Organization and Operation of the
    Homeland Security Council, October 29, 2001.
    5) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3, Homeland Security Advisory System,
    March 11, 2002.
    6) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5, Management of Domestic Incidents,
    February 28, 2003.
    7) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, Policy for a Common Identification
    Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors, August 27, 2004.
    8) National Infrastructure Protection Plan, January 2006.
    9) National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, November 1, 2005.
    10) National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan, May 2006.
    11) National Exercise Program Implementation Plan, April 2007.
    12) National Incident Management System (NIMS), March 1, 2004.
    13) NIST Special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning Guide for Information
    Technology Systems, June 2002.
    14) NIST Special Publication 800-53, Recommended Security Controls for Federal
    Information Systems, December 2006.
    15) NFPA 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business
    Continuity Programs, 2007 Edition.
    16) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD–5), “Management of Domestic Incidents,”
    in May 2013
  2. However if you tie the NIMS to funding to the government laws rules and legislation above you also have to have a system in place to audit that this is happening which looks at implementation, exercise use and lessons learned and lessons learned during real events. Presently this is not done with any significance and the tools that we do have to look at NIMS implementation may soon be deleted by FEMA. If we cannot effectivly audit to check and see if there are real outcomes and changes happening why bother.
    in Jun 2013
  3. Review the grant instructions and condition in addition to the FEMA grant monitoring activity as noted on grant instructions. Also, note any exercises conducted with grant funds must be HSEEP compliant. There is a FEMA system in place to monitor conditions of grant compliance activity. However, organizations and jurisdictions should be moving toward self-reliance in developing 'CAPABILITIES' with FEMA funding not dependence on a steady flow of cash. This participant does understand the matthew.bernard2 concern. It is also understood that some entities write cookie-cutter exercises or either don't comply with the grant conditions and eventually are required to return the funds. Auditing has been in effect for a long time. “FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.” FEMA’s financial monitoring activities serve as a tool to gauge and measure grantees’ compliance with federal policies and regulations. The agency employs a proactive approach to
    performing general financial monitoring and oversight
    of FEMA grants and conducts a comprehensive array of post-award administration activities that can reveal
    a misunderstanding of or non-compliance with federal regulations and the terms and conditions of FEMA grants.
    The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-53)mandates the frequency of monitoring activities for preparedness grants.Desk-based Financial Monitoring and On-site Financial Monitoring are utilized. On-site financial monitoring is conducted through site visits, led by Grants Management Specialists in conjunction with program staff, when possible.FEMA assesses grantees’ capability, performance and compliance against the applicable elements that make up each grant, including administrative regulations and public policy requirements, and special and general terms and conditions, as well as those contained in the award letter.
    in Jun 2013
    1. What you have put forward is quite correct, however the grants monitoring and review have not given the NIMS implementation and compliance and its outcomes any real close scrutiny over the past few years. Hopefully this will clear up in the future.
      in Jun 2013
  4. The grants monitoring and review have not given the NIMS implementation and compliance and its outcomes any real close scrutiny over the past few years? One shoe does not fit all. Advancing the notion of utilization of 'Non Economic' resources may add some focus to the subject. Working to development of capabilities and enhanced outcomes may be of benefit rather than a focus to enhanced or sustained receipt of grant funds. Note, some participants have complained when the money goes away so does the program. Certainly, the development and enhancement of 'Non Economic' resources might enhance, sustain, and maintain defined capabilities and generate less concern for grant funding and monitoring. Shouldn't we ask ourselves whether we're working for outcome and result of capabilities or purely engaged in monetary consideration/s. 'A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action' leveraged to that of National Preparedness Goal, 2011 NIMS TRAINING PROGRAM, and NIMS Guideline for the Credentialing of Personnel coupled with the use of existing resources such as programs, personnel and training facilities to coordinate and deliver NIMS training and exercise requirements. Shouldn't we focus more time and energy on signing new 'AGREEMENTS', and updating the existing 'AGREEMENTS' to enhance 'WHOLE COMMUNITY' applications for Citizen Corps, Net-Guard, R.A.C.E.S., CERT, Public-Private Partnerships, CI/KR, etc. and capabilities credentialing and moving toward less grant funding and dependence? Whole Community capabilities, training, exercise (HSEEP), and improved development is the agenda under EMPG. Should another bother to ask under Objective #4 what comes next after PDS for the next improvement report? 'Targeted Capabilities' such as All-Hazard Position-specific training might be a viable option compounded by the 'All-Hazard Position-Specific Train-the-Trainer Training program' focused toward 'WHOLE COMMUNITY' so there would be less dependence toward grant funding for training. Recognition that government at all levels cannot manage disasters alone means that communities need the opportunity to draw on their full potential to operate effectively. Empowering local action requires allowing members of the communities to lead—not follow—in identifying priorities, organizing support, implementing programs, and evaluating outcomes. The emergency manager promotes and coordinates, but does not direct, these conversations and efforts. Understand and meet the actual needs of the whole community, Engage and empower all parts of the community, Strengthen what works well in communities on a daily basis, Recognize community capabilities and needs, Foster relationships with community leaders, Leverage and strengthen social infrastructure, networks, and assets, use non-economic resources, and use existing resources such as programs, personnel and training facilities to coordinate and deliver NIMS training and exercise requirements might lessen the concern for grant dependence and monitoring.
    in Jun 2013
    1. Don"t disagree, this is the perfect world solution. Go for it and good luck.
      in Jun 2013

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