In this article I will give a brief high level overview of the basic “sections” of the ICS organizational structure, the Incident Commander and how they interact. It is important to remember the necessity for responsibility for tasks and the accountability to make sure they get done.
All incidents, events, including “grid-down” have basic needs regardless of what is happening. ICS meets all those needs in an organized, efficient and effective way. ICS is flexible and adaptable to meet any situation, large or small, regardless of cause of the incident.
In the previous article (Preparedness & Organization : Part #3 – “Grid-Down” Needs) I went over the need for a good organizational model for organizing a family or group in the event of a disaster, emergency or “grid-down.” The I explained how ICS meets that organizational need in every way.
• Admin & Finance
Each section listed above has specific responsibilities to make any incident run successfully. In the case of responding to disasters and emergencies the goal is simple: provide sufficient relief to victims to relieve immediate threat to life and then restore those affected to a state prior to the incident occurring. In the event of “grid-down” the first goal is to survive. Once that is accomplished, the next goal should be to thrive and restore.
Here is how the different sections work to make that happen –
Mission – All service and support needs are provided by the Logistics Section.
• Acquires, stores and distributes supplies.
• Acquires and maintains facilities.
• Provides all transportation needs.
• Provides communications capabilities.
• Provides food services.
• Provides medical services.
Mission – The Planning Section collects, evaluates, processes, and disseminates information.
• Collects and process situation information.
• Supervises preparation of the Incident Action Plan.
• Tracks all resources.
• Determines need for any specialized resources for future operations.
• If requested, assemble and disassemble operations units not assigned to the Operations Section.
• Establish special information collection activities as necessary.
• Assemble information on alternative strategies.
• Provide periodic predictions on incident potential.
• Report any significant changes in incident status.
• Compile and display incident status information.
• Provide maps as needed.
Mission – Manage all financial and administrative aspects of an incident.
• Run the commissary.
• Establish monetary & barter policy, and oversee related disputes.
• Handle all other financial aspects of incident.
Mission – Responsible for all tactical activities outside of camp.
• Reducing the immediate hazards.
• Saving lives and property.
• Establishing situational control.
• Restoring societal “norm.”
Mission – The individual responsible for the overall management of the incident.
• Sets objectives & goals.
• Responsible for, and authority over, all incident personnel.
But knowing what each section does is not enough, you have to know “how” they do it. And the next articles will go over each section and exactly what they do and how they do it. There are processes involved that need to be learned as well. So if you are lazy and don’t like reading and learning this series of articles is not for you. And to be very honest about it, you probably will fail anyway because you are not willing to learn what works. You might think you are an expert and know what to do. But when was the last time you dealt with a raging wildfire or flooding that covers hundreds of square miles? I have, other have. Learn from us. We want you to succeed!
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