This letter, written by Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, administers the National Incident Management System (NIMS). " The NIMS provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. On March 1, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the NIMS to provide a comprehensive national approach to incident management, applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines. HSPD-5 [Homeland Security Presidential Directive] also required DHS to establish a mechanism for ongoing coordination to provide strategic direction for, and oversight of, the NIMS. To this end, the NIMS Integration Center (NIC) was established to support both routine maintenance and the continuous refinement of the NIMS."
Federal Emergency Managers Association: http://www.fema.gov