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ARES Net Drill Training
Lesson 1:
The History of Emergency Management,
ARES and CERT



The information presented in this site is extracted from FEMA and other authoritative websites and presented in condensed form with references to their sources.

The Background of National Incident Management
After years of trial and evolution, the President of the United States mandated the organization of Emergency Management in the United States.

In 2003, Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 (HSPD-5), President Bush called on the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a National Incident Management System (NIMS) to provide a consistent nationwide approach for federal, state, tribal and local governments to work together to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size or complexity.

In establishing NIMS, FEMA created two parallel paths for participation in the U.S. National Incident Management System:

Federal, State and County government organizations, such as the Palm Beach County's - Division of Emergency Management, operate under the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division under one of the ten FEMA NIMS Regional Management Coordinators. The Regional Coordinators fund and evaluate the performance of State and Local governmental Emergency Management organizations. Non-compliance of a governmental Emergency Management organizations means loss of funding.

Volunteer non-profit [501(c)3] organizations and Citizen Corps Partner Programs and Affiliate Programs, such as Red Cross . . . and CERTs operate under the FEMA Citizen Corps Program. Citizen Corps provides some guidance and direction, but no funding.

The two paths converge at the CERT.
In our case, the Government Agency Liaison is the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management.
The CERT Incident Commander is the leader of a CERT Citizen Corps
volunteer organization. [FEMA CERT Basic Training Participant Manual, Unit 1, Page1-34]

In June of 2003 a Statement of Affiliation was signed between the FEMA Citizen Corps and the American Radio Relay League. In this document FEMA and the ARRL "agree to work collaboratively to: Implementing The Incident Command System
One of the most important 'best practices' that has been incorporated into the NIMS is the Incident Command System (ICS), a standard, on-scene, all-hazards incident management system already in use by firefighters, hazardous materials teams, rescuers and emergency medical teams. The evolution of ICS to its current state has been established by the NIMS as the standardized incident organizational structure for the management of all incidents. (FEMA NIMS ICS Position paper, 2006)



Ameteur Radio participation in the Palm Beach County - Division of Emergency Management ICS is spelled out in the Community Emergency Management Plan - 2011 (CEMP) as functional entities under Logistics Section, Support Branch, Communications Unit, Supporting Agencies (page 59); All-Hazards Exercise Plan (page 86). Ameteur Radio participation is also called out as part of its functional ties to the CERT Teams in the EOA Branch (page 53); as a Support Agency (page 54); Rapid Impact Assessment (page 112); and in the Public Information Unit, CERT Teams (PAGE 142).

Ameteur Radio participation in Citizen Corps CERT the ICS is called out in the FEMA Starting & Maintaining a CERT Program, How to organize CERT Teams, pages 17 through 19 and CERT Basic Training Participant Manual, Unit 6:CERT Organization, page 6-2 through 6-8.


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