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National Incident Management System directive issued

November 6: A new directive posted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has said that all states, territories, local jurisdictions, and tribal governments "adopt the National Incident Management System," by September 30, 2007.

NIMS, as the system is known, is the federal information management system that was created to help connect all levels of government during an emergency.

The directive, issued late in October, would require all information-sharing, best practices, and technical training and know-how to be on par with national compliance guidelines.

To help with educating first responders, and community emergency and disaster management officials, FEMA has provided a website complete with an introduction to NIMS.

The course offered on the website "explains the purpose, principles, key components and benefits of NIMS," and usually takes about three hours to finish.

To help oversee the implementation of NIMS, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge created the NIMS Integration Center. Representatives from federal, state, local and tribal governments participate in coordination at the NIC.

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