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NIMS version: March 1, 2004
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Appendix A
NIMS - The Incident Command System

The Incident Command System (ICS) is the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in domestic incident management activities. It is used for a broad spectrum of emergencies, from small to complex incidents, both natural and manmade, including acts of catastrophic terrorism. ICS is used by all levels of government—Federal, State, local, and tribal, as well as by many private-sector and nongovernmental organizations. ICS is usually organized around five major functional areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, and finance and administration. A sixth functional area, Intelligence, may be established if deemed necessary by the Incident Commander, depending on the requirements of the situation at hand.

Some of the more important “transitional steps” that are necessary to apply ICS in a field incident environment include the following:

recognizing and anticipating the requirement that organizational elements will be activated and taking the necessary steps to delegate authority as appropriate;

establishing incident facilities as needed, strategically located, to support field operations;

establishing the use of common terminology for organizational functional elements, position titles, facilities, and resources; and

rapidly evolving from providing oral direction to the development of a written Incident Action Plan.

Tab 1 - ICS Organization

Tab 2 - The Operations Section

Tab 3 - The Planning Section

Tab 4 - The Logistics Section

Tab 5 - The Finance/Administration Section

Tab 6 - Establishing an Area Command

Tab 7 - Predesignated Facilities and Areas

Tab 8 - The Planning Process

Tab 9 - Examples of ICS Forms


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