"Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5, Management of Domestic Incidents, directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a National Incident Management System (NIMS). Initially published in March 2004, and revised in December 2008, the NIMS provides a consistent national approach for Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to work together to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. HSPD-5 directs Federal agencies to adopt NIMS and encourages adoption of NIMS by all other stakeholders--State, tribal, and local governments; private sector organizations; critical infrastructure owners and operators; and NGOs involved in emergency management. In addition, the adoption and implementation of NIMS by State, tribal, and local organizations is a condition for receiving Federal preparedness assistance through grants, contracts, and other activities, as stated in HSPD-5. Based upon emergency management and incident response practices, NIMS represents a core set of doctrine, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enables effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management. The institutionalization of these elements nationwide through training helps to mitigate risk by achieving greater preparedness. Incident after-action reports and NIMS both emphasize that successful implementation relies upon development and maintenance of a national NIMS training program. Furthermore, NIMS implementation relies upon comprehensive NIMS training and standardized personnel qualification."
Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov