FEMA recently released a draft for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Information and Communications Technology (ICT) guidance, providing a framework for incorporating ICT into the Incident Command System (ICS). The draft guidance in many ways formalizes many of the functional changes ICS practitioners have been incorporating for quite a while.
Essentially, the guidance creates an ICT branch within the Logistics Section. That branch can include the traditional Communications Unit as well as an Information Technology (IT) Service Unit. They also make allowances for a Cybersecurity Unit to be included the branch – not as an operational element for a cyber incident, but largely in a network security capacity. The creation of an ICT branch is also recommended for emergency operations centers (EOCs), regardless of the organizational model followed.
The IT Service Unit includes staffing for a leader, support specialists, and a help desk function, while the Cybersecurity Unit includes staffing for a leader, a cybersecurity planner, a cybersecurity coordinator, and a cyber support specialist. The position descriptions and associated task books are already identified pending final approvals and publication of this guidance, with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) seemingly ready to support training needs for many of the new positions.
I’m fully in support of this change. FEMA is accepting feedback through October 20, 2022, with instructions available on the website provided previous.
Not being a communications or IT specialist myself, I’m interested in the perspectives of others on this.
© 2022 Tim Riecker, CEDP
4 thoughts on “NIMS Change – Information and Communications Technology Branch”
Thank you Tim,
I am in favor of this change as well!
Ricardo Butler, AMBCI, ABCP
Emergency Management Specialist
LP Emergency Management
TEL: 780-392-4092 | CELL: 780-901-8153 | Ricardo.Butler@Enbridge.comRicardo.Butler@Enbridge.com
10175 101 St NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0H3
Safety. Integrity. Respect.
any talk/thoughts about the PIO becoming the IO and combining external (public) and internal communications into an overall communications focus. have a deputy position and one focuses on content and one focuses on process (technology/pathways of delivery)
It’s not a bad way to go. I’ve heard some talk about it through the years but it doesn’t seem to gain much traction.
Thank you for this information. Another article that I found previously, related to the topic, is a USDHS HSAC article titled: Harnessing the Power of Science and Technology Communities for Crisis Response. (Stapleton, Gerstein & Willis, Sep. 2022)