If you are an assistant to state-level director of Homeland Security and are asked to write a 5 pages paper on how the NIMS and ICS model can benefit the state-level Homeland Security procedures, after reading the text what could you add or say about the advantages of common communication and information management systems, the management of resources and multi-agency coordination.
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One thing that remains to be said in addition to what the NIMS document already says, or rather, one thing that bears reiterating, is that the advantageous objective of NIMS is to provide a standardized system of communication for a united effort against national emergencies. The unification of groups and efforts is the key component because as the report says:
[The] challenges we face as a nation are far greater than the capabilities of any one community or state, but no greater than the sum of all of us working together.
Common communication is vital to fast emergency response. Without a set of standards by which each agency involved can easily understand and communicate orders and requests, it is easy for information to be misunderstood or lost entirely. By training communications personnel in common terminology, agencies are assured that everyone participating can quickly and easily understand what is happening and how to respond.
One of the massive problems that can occur when a disaster strikes is that all of the various agencies do not work together and get bogged down in bureaucracy. When there is an emergency, there is a necessity for these different agencies to operate fast as a cohesive team in order to try and save as many lives as possible. This is one of the definite advantages that is outlined in your document. When there is a crisis and people are dying, the last thing you need is two agencies haggling over who pays for what.
The idea behind NIMS and ICS is that when different agencies respond to crises, there are fewer questions of who is charge, what procedures to follow, and so on. Surely this would benefit the Department of Homeland Security, which was formed in part to coordinate the actions of the various agencies who are responsible for intelligence gathering. A big problem before 9/11 was the lack of interdepartmental coordination, and this would make sense as a model for DHS to follow.
I would have to support litteacher on this one. The advantages are certainly the open communication systems. Open communication systems insure that procedures are acknowledged , recognized and followed. Without open communication systems, the lines, essentially, break down (and that is where one finds that problems arise).
I would stress the advantages of having open communication and standard communication systems so that they are there when you need them. In an emergency, if everyone has a plan and follows the plan, then things will be good. If the agencies do not know who to talk to, and there are no standard communication procedures, people will die. In an emergency, time is lives. Communication saves time, so it saves lives.
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