Managing incident resources begins before there is an incident!
Your community should designate up front who is responsible for resource management planning during a large or complex incident. For example, it could be your department/agency, the supporting government or an assisting department.
Coordinate this decision with the whole community and consider all hazards in your approach. Include the responsible organization in your local and regional response plans and reference it in any mutual aid agreements.
Once that decision is made, use the tools provided by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to type apparatus, credential personnel, inventory your resources, identify gaps and create mutual aid agreements.
Once you complete the preliminary work, center your effort on organization.
Begin with training and exercising your processes, to include the use of any tracking systems. If there is a need for just-in-time training, make sure it is in the plan. Be aware of the schedule for requested/delivered resources, operational priorities and your budget.
Another key to managing resources is reporting. Note the type, times, staffing and location of each resource and then distribute a report to the proper directors/chiefs and operations centers. It is essential that you manage resources and are organized until all resources are demobilized.
Organization is not limited to only the requesting party under a mutual aid agreement. The supplier/provider also should plan appropriately and adopt a resource management system, as it will submit costs for reimbursement of capabilities and to restock commodities.
For more information on NIMS and tools to help you manage your incident resources, visit FEMA.gov.