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History of the National Incident Management System

            The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a specified branch of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While FEMA concerns itself with a problem as a whole, NIMS is responsible for breaking the problem down into a set of procedures for multiple organizations to follow effectively. NIMS has been around for more than forty years now and continues to adapt to an ever changing world. .
             The National Incident Management System was officially signed into law, but its origin came in the 1970's. During the 1970's, California was plagued by massive wildfires which when they eventually were extinguished, had destroyed over 700 structures and totaled over $18 billion in damages per day. One year following the disaster the U.S. Forest Service developed a system known as FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources Organized for Potential Emergencies). Nine years after the creation of the FIRESCOPE system, "in 1980, the Incident Command System (ICS) that was developed under FIRESCOPE was adopted by the United States Federal Government under what was then called the National Interagency Incident Management System or NIIMS." (Word Press, Sliding Door) This system was developed as a response to suppress future wildfires in the California area. The policies generated early on by the NIMS system were only guidelines for state agencies. State agencies did not have to follow the procedures that NIMS came up with. New York and Louisiana were two states in particular that did not follow the NIMS guidelines and found out there would be consequences beyond any extreme to not having a system in place. During hurricane Katrina hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted from their now flooded or destroyed homes. While many agencies responded to the area and dealt with the situation as best as they could, communication and delegation problems led to delays of help and supplies to any and all affected areas.

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