ICS and the Human Factor

A number of my articles have mentioned the unpredictable human factor in executing emergency plans and managing incidents, particularly for complex incidents.  We can build great plans and have a great management system to facilitate the incident management process, but the human factor – that largely intangible level of unpredictability of human behavior – can … Continue reading ICS and the Human Factor

The Human Aspect of ICS and Overcoming Transitional Incidents

Most often when we consider the Incident Command System (ICS), we think of boxes in an organization chart, forms to be completed, and specific processes to be followed.  True, these are, in essence, aspects of ICS, but they alone will not pave the way to success.  What we must remember is that ICS is conducted … Continue reading The Human Aspect of ICS and Overcoming Transitional Incidents

Incident Management – Beyond ICS

The Incident Command System (ICS) provides an important foundation to incident management.  ICS grounds us in standards, providing structure and processes which help mitigate against the fact that all incidents themselves are unique.  While ICS may not be perfect, and I have been and continue to be highly critical of ICS training, the Incident Command … Continue reading Incident Management – Beyond ICS

ESFs Aren’t for Everyone

Through the years I’ve had numerous conversations with states, cities, and others about organizing their emergency operations plans (EOPs) around Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). In every conversation I’ve suggested against the use of ESFs. Why? Let’s start with definitions. One definition of ESFs provided by FEMA states that ESFs ‘describe federal coordinating structures that group … Continue reading ESFs Aren’t for Everyone

Incident Management Advisors

It’s frustrating to see poor incident management practices. For years I’ve reviewed plans that have wild org charts supposedly based on the Incident Command System (ICS); have conducted advanced-level training with seasoned professionals that still don’t grasp the basic concepts; have conducted and evaluated exercises and participated in incident responses in which people clearly don’t … Continue reading Incident Management Advisors

The Universal Adversary Mindset

Some of you are probably familiar with the concept of the Universal Adversary (UA). From previous Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) doctrine, UA is “a fictionalized adversary created by compiling known terrorist modifications, doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures in live, virtual, and constructive simulations. The UA is based on real realistic threats … … Continue reading The Universal Adversary Mindset