National Incident Management System (NIMS) at the University of Minnesota


The University of Minnesota will use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as its standard, coordinated and systematic method for incident management.

The Department of Emergency Management is responsible for ensuring the NIMS approach is incorporated into the University’s preparedness practices to help the University community prepare for, respond to, recover from, and reduce the effects of incidents and potential incidents whether they are intentional, accidental or natural.

University senior executives and staff members who have functional responsibilities associated with incident management are expected to complete NIMS training requirements as developed by the National Training Program for NIMS and attend multi-unit, multi-discipline scenario exercises intended to improve overall University integration and interoperability.


To comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-5 requiring the adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as a requirement for providing Federal assistance through grants, contracts or other activities and to comply with State of Minnesota Executive Order 05-02 designating NIMS as the basis for all incident management in the State of Minnesota.

Using NIMS for managing personnel, communications, facilities, and resources improves the University's ability to enhance local emergency readiness, maintain first responder safety, and streamline incident management processes.

Primary Contact(s)
General Questions
Dept of Emergency Management


An occurrence, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity, that requires a response to protect life or property, Incidents can, for example, include major disasters, emergencies, terrorist attacks, terrorist threats, civil unrest, wild land and urban fires, floods, hazardous materials spills, nuclear accidents, aircraft accidents, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, tsunamis, war-related disasters, public health and medical emergencies, and other occurrences requiring an emergency response.
Incident Command System (ICS)
A set of personnel, policies, procedures, facilities and equipment integrated into a common organizational structure designed to improve emergency response operations of all types and complexities. ICS is used for all kinds of emergencies and is applicable to small as well as large and complex incidents. ICS is used to organize field-level incident management operations.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
The national directive to enhance emergency response coordination across the United States. NIMS provides for interoperability and compatibility among Federal, State and local capabilities and includes a core set of concepts, principles, terminology and technologies covering the incident command system, unified command, training, management of resources and reporting.


Vice President for University Services
Has overall responsibility for safety, security and emergency response functions at the University, as delegated by the President in the University Operations Plan. Provides resources, support and funding to facilitate the University’s compliance with this policy . Chairs the Emergency Management Policy Committee.
Department of Emergency Management
Provides resources to implement NIMS and to ensure that departments receive training to meet the federal mandate. Implements the University’s emergency response plans including notification and evacuation plans, and emergency preparedness training exercises. Works with University, local, county, state and federal governments to plan and prepare for large problems and disasters. Responds to the scene of incidents to ensure NIMS implementation and to coordinate the response.
Emergency Management Policy Committee
Provides overall strategic direction to emergency planning and communication activities. Routinely assesses the emergency preparedness and safety risks of the University and leads efforts to mitigate these risks. Members and their named alternate backups are responsible to complete NIMS training and participate in annual preparedness exercises.


April 2010 - Comprehensive Review: Added procedure, Updated definitions, responsibilities, and Related Information. Modified title.
May 2005

Document Feedback

Date Revised

April 2010

Date Effective

May 2005