NIMS, a strategy to safeguard lives

Ever heard of the phrase, prevention is better than cure? Without a doubt, it can be implied to all aspects of life. One of the many ways to prevent is to anticipate what might happen; which is possible with the help of past experiences.

NIMS, The National Incident Management System is a Government based Information technology platform that is a detailed framework of nationwide methodology to the Incident Management System.

  1. Salient features of NIMS include
  2. Incident Command System (ICS) standard for all, situation wise hazard control system
  3. Communications and information management
  4. Joint Information System (JIS) an organization that provides completely accurate and consistent information to the public stakeholders during an incident
  5. Preparedness
  6. NIMS integration Centre (NIC)

Need of NIMS (National Incident Management System)

All of us are inches away from a hazardous situation. Emergencies can occur during any time and place ranging from fire hazards to natural or technological calamities so we need to be well equipped in order to get through such situation. The Government must be prepared to tackle any kind of scenario be it large or small scale, a set of principles and standard operating procedure (SOP) should be devised that can be set in motion. During a mishap individuals from different departments and jurisdictions have to work together in symphony. They must be able to communicate, and rely on each other in order for the system to work.
Want to know which NIMS structure develops, recommends, and executes public information plans and strategies?

The answer is Emergency Operation Center also abbreviated as, EOC.

What is an EOC?

Itis a command control center that facilitates emergency situations. The government, with the help of EOC must promptly determine the nature of that event, then start an appropriate response to cope with it and set sail towards recovery.

Levels of Emergency

First step is to determine the level of emergency before initiating a response. Categorizing the nature of emergency and hazard level. Emergencies can be put into three broad classes

  • Regular
  • Minor
  • Major
  • Wide catastrophe

Regular: Emergencies that are being handled on daily basis by regular departments for example police, fire department, hospitals and/or clinics. The risk is localized and small scale and the recovery can be easy and fast.

Minor: This category is somewhat similar to regular but larger in capacity. May involve just a single department or sometimes multiple but handled with city resources easily to get the grasp of the situation.

Major: this is the type of emergency where centralized city response is required and the city resources may not be enough for the large scale mishap. So external help is sought to get hold of it.

Wide Catastrophe: emergencies of this kind requires aggressive steps to be taken. Impact is enormous and thus the recovery is anticipated to be long and tough.

Working of an Emergency Operations Center

For an EOC to work efficiently it must have

  • Clearly defined chain of command (hierarchy)
  • Effective resource management
  • Advance planning for course of action

Incident Management System model provides the root and guideline for the emergency protocol to work in any kind of hazardous situation. They have data of previous incidents recorded to make dynamic changes accordingly to the SOP. In an EOC there are many people involved working in different sectors i.e. for tracing and/or record entry, data analysis etc.

  1. Emergency occurs
  2. The gravity of situation is assessed
  3. The chief of Police or a senior administrator initiates the EOC response
  4. Relevant departments are contacted and communicated with to reach and work at the point of action
  5. The data is reported back to the center and recovery flow is started

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