The National Incident Management System (NIMS) identifies concepts and principles that answer how to manage emergencies from preparedness to recovery regardless of their cause, size, location, or complexity.
The implementation of the NIMS directly supports Quadrennial Homeland Security Report
(QHSR) Mission 5:
Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience and Goal 5. 3 Ensuring Effective Emergency Response.
NIMS also serves as a foundation for the development of multi-jurisdictional and interstate regional mechanisms for coordinating incident management and obtaining assistance during large-scale, complex, or catastrophic incidents.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is one of the methods by which NIMS is implemented through mutual aid nationwide.
EMAC, established in 1996, is a national mutual aid compact that offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency and supports states in sending personnel, equipment, and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states.
National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) manages and administers EMAC.
NEMA is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with headquarters in Lexington, KY, which represents emergency management directors in the 50 States, US Territories, and the District of Columbia.
The National Preparedness System is the instrument the Nation employs to build, sustain, and deliver core capabilities in order to achieve to the Goal of a secure and resilient Nation.
Complex and far-reaching threats and hazards require a collaborative and whole community approach to national preparedness that engages individuals, families, communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of government.
The guidance, programs, processes, and systems that support each component of the National Preparedness System allow for the integration of preparedness efforts that build, sustain, and deliver 32 core capabilities and achieve the desired outcomes identified in the Goal.
The Nation needs to manage and pre-plan delivery of resources necessary to enable the core capabilities.
Sharing resources is both economically and logistically efficient, as the cost to acquire and maintain all potentially necessary emergency preparedness and response resources can be overwhelming for a single organization.
EMAC is the only mutual aid compact ratified by Congress that assures a high level of reliability and effectiveness for all 50 states, and several territories.
Mutual aid is central to building, sustaining and delivering capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Effective mutual aid agreements fill the resource gaps that a jurisdiction may have, and bring the skills, unique knowledge, and tactical resources to the table to support state-to-state mutual aid efforts that strengthen the resiliency of communities.
DHS and FEMA focus on building stronger capabilities across all levels of jurisdictions and with the whole community.
All types of mutual aid are integral to enhancing our nation's resilience and ensuring the ability to respond to disasters regardless of size, scope, or complexity.
This Cooperative Agreement advances the Nation's preparedness and implementation of the NIMS through the development and deployment of consistent systems for the request, dispatch, use, and return of resources needed to support local capabilities, and change outcomes for survivors.
These systems form a national mutual aid network that can help to build, sustain, and deliver the 32 core capabilities needed to achieve the National Preparedness Goal.