The Federal Emergency Management Agency handling all emergency aid operations in and around Puerto Rico is akin to a world-class chess player chronically analyzing what's on the board and anticipating pros/cons of the next maneuver. All moving parts in and en route to Puerto Rico are controlled by the Department of Homeland Security's FEMA professionals and their program called NIMS.

As cross-sections of parties pertinent to the ongoing search, rescue, and recovery effort in Puerto Rico fire shots across each other's bows, the monumental blueprint managed by FEMA known as the National Incident Management System optimizes every single person and each piece of equipment while reassessments and response amendments are made.

As defined by FEMA, "NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines" while addressing "a full spectrum of potential incidents, hazards and impacts, regardless of size, location or complexity."

Effectively, NIMS is an all-inclusive disaster-response program employing people while deploying apparatus and humanitarian provisions to sustain life and re-establish a safe environment.

Before Sept. 11, I had never heard of NIMS. Frankly, FEMA was not in my vocabulary either. But the World Trade Centers buckling and cascading to rubble opened up the door to how inexplicable national crises require fastidious controls and troubleshooting, and this now-former street cop took a hard lesson.

Read the rest of the piece at OpsLens.

Stephen Owsinski is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and retired law enforcement officer whose career included assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division and Field Training Officer (FTO) unit.

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