A disaster is any unexpected event whose timing is never expected and it comes with consequences which are massive destruction. The nature around us brings several forms of disaster such as floods, drought, wild fires and famine. Disaster preparedness and recovery are measures that individuals, organizations, communities take, or a government responds to a disaster, whether it is natural or caused by human beings. The National Incident Management system plays a unique and great role in preparing the United States for disasters. It is a legal body that has the mandate to handle emergency and other disasters. This department has a critical role in preparing, responding and recovery from disasters. The NIS has proven itself effective in handling crisis such as the oil leak at the Mexico Gulf.
The National Incident Management System
The National Incident Management System is a standardized approach to incident management developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NIMS defines several operational systems: an incident management system, a multi-agency coordination system, and an emergency assistance center. The system manages and regulates the size, quantity, and quality of resources to be implemented in future projects. Resource management during an incident includes tracking resources, requesting them, and demobilizing resources.
Although every U.S. Department of Agriculture agency’s current team of agriculture specialists is adequate to deal with ‘normal’ emergencies, the agricultural community may easily overcome the company’s logistic, operative, and administrational requirements to deal with a significant regional or national emergency. The agricultural community needs to strengthen its links with the community of crisis managers and other administrations to be ready for a catastrophic agricultural disaster emergency. This organization adopts numerous features of the United States Forest Service’s National Interagency Incident Management System.
The National Incident Management system has a classic known as The National Interagency Incident Management System model (NIIMS). It is a commonly utilized incident response management method in the emergency management community that has proven effective (St Denis et al., 2020). NIIMS establishes a framework for coordinating emergency response and entailing the resources required to recover successfully. The approach is used in cases where there is a potential or actual threat to the public or the environment. For example, during the Olympic Games, teams monitor compliance with safety rules and meteorological data and analyze loads to prevent crashes and injuries. Another obvious example is aircraft crashes – NIMS is essential because analysis of weather conditions and equipment serviceability is critical to flying.
The national incident management system has major components like any other organization that labor to respond, prevent, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of the incident’s cause, size, or complexity (Khan et al., 2018). The standard structures of command of the NMIS are based on three administrative systems. These are the incident command system, the multi-agency organization, and the public informational systems. These organizations are meant for helping in any disaster emergencies.
The incident command system is a comprehensive method used for interactive observation and situation management. It includes operational capabilities, human resources, and all the components needed for event coordination. The system is based on mutually beneficial cooperative agreements with various organizations that will provide information and physical support at critical moments. The system’s starting point is the data collection and interpretation; the speed of data transfer is the essential component of the operation.
Role of NIMS in Responding to an Emergency Crisis
NIMS enable disaster management and response workers and their linked organizations to work together by providing tools to improve readiness. A constant cycle of planning, establishing, physical activity, training, exercising, assessing, and taking corrective action is used to establish and sustain readiness. During times of crisis, NIMS is tasked with coordinating personnel and resources to help those affected as quickly as possible. For example, this can be seen in the promptness of the arrival of ambulances and EMERCOM during natural disasters. Furthermore, readiness makes emergency management and incident reaction actions more efficient and effective.
Communications and Information Management is responsible for rapid information transfer and processing during a crisis. When appropriately planned, developed and implemented communications, information is disseminated across the command and support elements and partnering agencies and administrations (Wolf-Fordham, 2020). One can see that multiple drones and cameras on the street are remotely dispatched to capture incidents to assist relief teams during incidents. Flexible communications and information systems are essential for effective emergency management and disaster response, and thus by keeping the operational picture, one disaster response is quicker.
The National incident Management System at the Mexico Gulf
On April 20, 2010, an explosion at an oil rig on the Gulf of Mexico Platform resulted in an incident. Eleven workers died as a result of the tragedy. Several platforms sank into the Gulf of Mexico after two days, spilling about 35 thousand barrels of oil each day (Greening et al., 2018). The spilled oil wreaked havoc on the ecosystem and resulted in mass slaughter. BP designed the crisis process as a management perspective for this environmental calamity and murder. Because of its magnitude, the spill was declared of national significance and prompted the National Incident Management system to act in response to act. This is because the declaration made the spill a concern of the federal government. The incident command system thus was responsible for reacting to the disaster.
To conclude, even though no one expects disasters, they are part of life, and all one can do is be ready for when they do strike. The National incident management system is one such national response team that is a competent body to handle all disasters regardless of their magnitude. It efficiently handles disasters by ensuring preparation and ease of communication by maintaining a clear operation picture to handle incidents coming their way swiftly.
Khan, Y., O’Sullivan, T., Brown, A., Tracey, S., Gibson, J., Généreux, M., Henry, B., & Schwartz, B. (2018). Public health emergency preparedness: A framework to promote resilience. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-16.
Greening, H., Swann, R., Pé, K. S., Testroet-Bergeron, S., Allen, R., Alderson, M., Hecker, J., & Bernhardt, S. P. (2018). Local implementation of a national program: The National Estuary Program response following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Policy, 87, 60-64.
St Denis, L. A., Mietkiewicz, N. P., Short, K. C., Buckland, M., & Balch, J. K. (2020). All-hazards dataset mined from the US National Incident Management System 1999–2014. Scientific Data, 7(1), 1-18.
Wolf-Fordham, S. (2020). Integrating government silos: Local emergency management and public health department collaboration for emergency planning and response. The American Review of Public Administration, 50(6-7), 560-567.