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

Let’s Bring Human Interaction Back Into Training

I love technology.  I really do.  I generally don’t have any problems with the accomplishments or advancements we’ve made and I’m not looking to abolish any of the triumphs or practices we have in place as a result of technology, but there are some things we have to step back on a bit.  One of … Continue reading Let’s Bring Human Interaction Back Into Training

Operational Readiness in Emergency Management

Back in 2017 I wrote a piece on defining operational readiness.  It’s a topic, which, after some recent discussion with a colleague, I think bears revisiting and expanding upon.  Specifically, how we apply it in emergency management, or not.  Readiness is really a final comprehensive perspective of preparedness.  That is, once you have reached a … Continue reading Operational Readiness in Emergency Management

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

NIMS is Worthless, Unless You Put it into Action

It’s so often that I hear people proclaim in response to a problem that NIMS will fix it.  I’ve written in the past that many organizations reference the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) in their plans, as they should, but it’s often a reference with no substance.  The devil … Continue reading NIMS is Worthless, Unless You Put it into Action

Do We Need Different Systems for Catastrophic Incidents?

We’ve long heard, albeit in small pockets, people proclaiming that emergency management and public safety need different systems for larger incidents vs smaller incidents.  For years, the Incident Command System (ICS) fought that stigma, with many saying that ICS is only used for hazardous materials incidents (specifically because of OSHA requirements) or for large incidents … Continue reading Do We Need Different Systems for Catastrophic Incidents?

FEMA’s Forgotten Civil Defense Role

A recent article posted to the Homeland Security Affairs Journal of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security is quite thought provoking.  The author, Quin Lucie, an attorney with FEMA and former Marine Corps Judge Advocate, posits in his article, How FEMA Could Lose America’s Next Great War, that FEMA’s legal responsibilities … Continue reading FEMA’s Forgotten Civil Defense Role