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Challenges in Resource Management for Emergency Management Agencies

Resource Management is one of the 5 components of National Incidence Management System (NIMS).

The Number One priority in Department of Homeland Security’s Guidelines for SHSP and UASI priorities included an objective for organizing resources.
However, typing resources and updating resources still remain to be one of the challenges in most emergency management agencies. Why? There are two key reasons:

  • Typing of resources is a difficult task. NIMS has provided specific guidelines, but its implementation requires coordination among different jurisdictions, dedicated hours and personnel, training, and project management.
  • Updating of resources. After the emergency management agencies make the initial investment in typing their resources, if they don’t have the tools and business processes to keep the information updated real time or at least on a regular basis, they still can’t rely on the resource information to support disaster activities.

So how can emergency management agencies organize their resources so the information is up to date and can be shared across jurisdictions? The solution is for them to link their underlying equipment management tools and processes to resource management.

Resource Management

The resource management process is designed to provide the updated information to the components in the resource typing, including equipment and people.  Linking equipment management process to the resource management tools and processes will help to keep the resource information up to date. Although the current Incident Management Systems, such as WebEOC, used by emergency management agencies have Resource Management modules, these modules are not linked to a dynamic equipment management process. Therefore, these incident management systems can’t provide the up to date resource typing information to incident commanders.

Equipment Management

The equipment management process takes the life cycle asset management approach to support all activities involved with equipment from procurement to retirement, and keep track of all the financial and operational records linked with these activities. It’s inherently dynamic and, if it is linked to the resource typing information within the Incident Management systems, it will keep the resource information updated real time.


Here are the key activities involved in the equipment management process:

  • Procurement and initial equipment receipt
  • Record and data management
  • Physical inventory
  • Subcontractor control
  • Chain of custody control
  • Equipment utilization tracking
  • Maintenance management
  • Equipment disposition

White Paper

Would you like to find out more about the three biggest challenges for accurate resource typing? How to keep resource typing information up to date? How to share resource information among neighboring jurisdictions? Please download this white paper “Challenges in Resource Management for Emergency Management Agencies”.

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