National Incident Management System (NIMS) While most emergencies are handled locally, major incidents usually require the help from other jurisdictions, the state and the federal government. NIMS, was developed by DHS/FEMA to ensure emergency personnel from multiple jurisdictions and disciplines can work together when responding to emergencies, including natural and/or man-made disasters. NIMS, provides a unified approach to incident management, standard command and management structure, and an emphasis on preparedness, mutual aid and resource management.
Preparedness Cycle The National Incident Management System (NIMS) defines preparedness as "a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response." This 'preparedness cycle' is one element of a broader National Preparedness System to prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.
The Urban Shield Exercise Urban Shield is a national model, full-scale exercise, designed to assess and validate the speed, effectiveness and efficiency of capabilities, as well as test the adequacy of regional policies, plans, procedures and protocols. Urban Shield incorporates regional critical infrastructure, emergency operation centers, regional communication systems, equipment and assets, as well as personnel representing all aspects of emergency response, including intelligence, law enforcement, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Units, Fire, EMS, etc. The Urban Shield Exercise is unique because of its focus on training during the exercise. This training provides first responders, homeland security officials, emergency management officials, private and non-governmental partners, and other personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform key tasks required in large-scale disasters.
Critical Infrastructure Incorporated / EvaluatedUrban Shield incorporates critical infrastructure into the exercise. This provides an opportunity for regional emergency managers and UASI represenatives to better prepare for the identified risks associated with each facility. In addition, first responders are provided an opportunity to familiarize themselves with facility specifics and become better prepared for an actual emergency response. Incorporating the security systems and personnel into the exercise not only trains and prepares private security personnel, it provides the BAUASI Region an opportunity to test and evaluate the emergency plans and systems of the involved facilities. In addition, this exercise helps to familiarize all related entities with one another and build positive public/private relationships.
Evaluation and Improvement Plans The evaluation and improvement of mission and task performance is the final step of the DHS/FEMA Preparedness Cycle. During the Urban Shield Exercise, all critical components are evaluated to determine their current state of operational readiness. A comprehensive After Action Report (AAR) is completed and addresses regional risk assessments and related vulnerabilities. The AAR identifies gaps and provides a regional road map in the form of improvement plans. The AAR provides UASI Regions with critical information to assist in allocating future resources, assets, training, etc. In addition, The Urban Shield Exercise model provides UASI Regions a tool to measure their effectiveness from year to year in order to determine progress and ensure the grant funds utilized are spent wisely and result in the “buying down” of risk.
Utilizing the Capabilities Based Planning approach, regional first responders will plan, coordinate and/or manage this Urban Shield full scale exercise. Participating command and support personnel will benefit from the experience, which is designated to strengthen abilities in the following areas:
Based on the exercise planning teams' deliberations, the following objectives were developed for Alameda County Urban Shield 2012:
The Urban Shield 2012 Full Scale Exercise (FSE) will be planned utilizing Capabilities Based Planning. This planning approach is based off of the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP), and is compliant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Target Capabilities List. The Bay Area Region will benefit from lessons learned from past Urban Shield Full Scale Exercises, information from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), the Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), and the Bay Area UASI Training and Exercise Program. This approach utilizes several sources to influence the creation of the scenarios that will comprise this year’s full scale exercise including:
• Implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS)• Implementation of the National Response Plan (NRP)• Emergency Operations Planning• Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Management• Incident Management and Teamwork
2012 Urban Shield FSE Overarching Goals
1. Test new regional communication capabilities.
2. Evaluate the integration of mass transportation and other critical infrastructure, along with their on-site personnel into a cooperative, unified command response.
3. Evaluate the UASI Training and Exercise Program effectiveness.
4. Test CBRNE detection, response, and decontamination by evaluating USAR/HazMat/EOD core competencies.
5. Create awareness to new technologies which will help first responders do their jobs safer and more efficiently.
6. Evaluate medical public health and mass care preparedness core competencies.
7. Control the exercise management activities utilizing the ICS structure consistent with NIMS and SEMS.