"The National Incident Management System provides a systematic, proactive approach guiding departments and agencies at all levels of government, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work seamlessly to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life, property, and harm to the environment. […] NIMS is not an operational incident management or resource allocation plan. NIMS represents a core set of doctrine, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enables effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management. HSPD-5 also required the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop the National Response Plan (NRP, which has been superseded by the National Response Framework (NRF)). The NRF is a guide to how the nation conducts all�'hazards incident management. HSPD-5 requires all Federal departments and agencies to adopt NIMS and to use it in their individual incident management programs and activities, as well as in support of all actions taken to assist State, tribal, and local governments. The directive requires Federal departments and agencies to make adoption of NIMS by State, tribal, and local organizations a condition for Federal preparedness assistance (through grants, contracts, and other activities). NIMS also recognizes the role that the private sector and nongovernmental organizations have in preparing for, preventing, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating the effects of incidents."
United States Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Response Framework: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nrf/mainindex.htm#