Five Key Domains of Incident Management

commentary

Jul 10, 2024

CDC staff and state and local participants receive instructions and safety reminders before heading to the field in Mariposa County, California, June, 2023, photo by Shaun Whitecavage/CDC

CDC staff and state and local participants receive instructions and safety reminders before heading to the field in Mariposa County, California, June, 2023

Photo by Shaun Whitecavage/CDC

This commentary originally appeared on Domestic Preparedness on July 10, 2024.

Throughout the United States, incident management is often closely associated with the Incident Command System (ICS), the National Incident Management System (NIMS), and other federal doctrine. However, effective incident management is not necessarily about alignment with doctrine. Instead, it is about a set of activities for managing an incident. Although ICS-NIMS may play a role in guiding those activities, conflating policy doctrine with activity risks turns incident management into a box-ticking exercise. It can create barriers to engaging with those who do not use ICS-NIMS—whether because they disagree with the utility of ICS-NIMS doctrine, lack training, or have adapted or supplemented ICS-NIMS to meet their community's needs. A new free toolkit can help incident management teams assess and maintain their effectiveness.

RAND recently completed a five-year project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to characterize and develop measures related to the set of activities necessary for incident management. As part of this project, discussions with more than 50 incident managers and other experts and existing doctrine and research on incident management helped to identify five key domains that together comprise incident management.…

The remainder of this commentary is available at domesticpreparedness.com.


Aaron Clark-Ginsberg is a behavioral/social scientist at RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution.