President calls for domestic security incident management, response plans

President Bush has ordered the development of a National Incident Management System that federal, state, and local governments will use to work together in preparing and responding to domestic security incidents of any kind, size or complexity.

Tom Ridge, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, will develop the system, according to the president's directive issued Friday.

The system will comprise a common set of procedures for federal, state and local governments. It will cover myriad details, including: concepts, principles, terminology and technologies covering the incident command system; multi-agency coordination systems; training; identification and management of resources (including systems for classifying types of resources); and the collection, tracking and reporting of incident information and incident resources.

All federal departments and agencies will use the new system in their domestic incident management and emergency preparedness and response activities, and in their actions supporting state or local entities, according to the directive.

The directive calls on Ridge to develop guidelines to implement and manage the new system by June 1.

The directive also calls for Ridge to develop an unclassified National Response Plan. The NRP will integrate federal domestic security incident preparedness and response plans into one plan that addresses all types of hazards. Operational aspects of the plan that need to be classified will be included in annexes to the NRP, according to the directive.

The NRP, using the National Incident Management System, will direct how federal support is provided to state and local governments in response to domestic security incidents.

The directive calls upon Ridge to publish an initial NRP by April 1, and by Sept. 1, prepare recommendations for revisions to fully implement the plan.

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