The National Incident Management System is a guide and command system for local, state and federal government agencies and nongovernmental organizations on how to respond in the event of an emergency or other incident involving hazards or threats, states the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its role is to provide a universal approach to the management of incidents across multiple jurisdictions, different levels of government, and between different agencies, organizations and locations.
The National Incident Management System includes an Incident Command System, which is a guide for how multiple jurisdictions should work together, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. It also universalizes communication methods for incident responders in the event of an emergency; provides a preparedness plan, which incorporates measures, actions and processes that a jurisdiction should take to prevent incidents; and incorporates a Joint Information System for informing the public of incidents.
In the event of an incident, NIMS provides a national mutual aid system for providing essential resources to areas that may need them in the event of an emergency, reports FEMA. The aid system includes agreements between various levels of the government, and even between various organizations in the private sector. These agreements may provide allowances for moving resources across state lines, or they may providing fire service assistant in an area should it need assistance from another jurisdiction or state. NIMS also provides resource management and mutual aid for protection, mitigation, response and recovery in the event of a significant incident.