In an effort to strengthen the resource management section of the National Incident Management System (or NIMS), FEMA updated the universal emergency management document for the first time since 2009. If you are unfamiliar, NIMS was initially created as a “nationwide approach to enable stakeholders to work together to manage all threats and hazards, regardless of the incident’s cause or size.” In other words, it is a set of guidelines to be used by first responders and emergency managers nationwide to ensure they are all able to operate cohesively and “speak the same language” in the event of an incident requiring a multi-agency response. It is especially important that EOC leaders look at the NIMS update as it includes the creation of National Qualification System (NQS) EOC Skillsets. Specifically, these EOC Skillsets were created to “support standardized qualifications for EOC personnel, while remaining flexible enough to accommodate EOCs of all sizes and kinds.” These skillsets are meant to be the standard for EOC worker qualifications and should be used to properly train or qualify EOC employees, regardless of the size or needs of any particular EOC. These skillsets were developed after an extensive interview process with over 100 EOC employees nationwide was conducted to determine exactly what are the needs of EOCs of different backgrounds. This effort by FEMA shows the increasing importance of EOCs to the overall establishment of situational intelligence and responder coordination. We here at Everbridge support the NIMS effort in facilitating all responders to “speak the same language” and the critical role EOCs play in that mission. With this in mind, we incorporated into our Critical Event Management Platform the Visual Command Center (VCC) which allows you to integrate asset and threat data into a common operating picture so that you can quickly identify critical events that may threaten life safety or cause business disruptions. If you are interested in learning more about the NQS or any of the other development in the recent NIMS update, check out our webinar hosted by a panel of experts from FEMA. You can also register for a 60-minute webinar update from FEMA directly on their website. To learn more about VCC and how it can provide situational intelligence for your organization, click here.