The National Incident Management System (NIMS) has been the main tool used as the starting point for an "all hazards" planning but obviously, it has its limitations due to other factors such as luck, chaotic events and unpredictable outcomes that no one can control. A good idea is to develop or build up response capabilities in preparation for an unforeseen or unplanned contingency not taken into account during the planning process. Two crucial components of a good NIMS are the ICS and the SEMS.The use of standardized emergency management system (SEMS) allows for a very rapid response which is crucial during disasters because each second counts a lot. This will prevent the response from becoming disorganized or haphazard while allowing for immediate deployment of necessary resources in a timely manner that will maximize often scarce resources like supplies or emergency personnel based on a system of priorities using a triage system. An incident command system (ICS) forms part of the SEMS (the SEMS, in turn, is part of the larger NIMS) in which all resources and personnel are put under one standard organizational structure. The ICS controls and coordinates all the actions to be taken at the scene of an emergency or contingency. A vital component of any ICS is the emergency operations center (EOC) that is a fixed location (can be a temporary location only, depending on the exigencies of the emergency) from which an overall control, command, and coordination of rescue and recovery efforts can be directed. Both ICS and SEMS must be flexible since each disaster is unique and non-linear (Falkenrath, 2001, p. 148).
In this particular case, the recent disaster caused by Hurricane Anne can be mitigated by prompt and appropriate actions. The first thing to do is to assess the extent of disaster by making an estimate of the affected population (how many people are adversely affected), what resources are available immediately, how fast the waters are rising, how soon it will subside, what are the weather forecasts for the next twenty-four hours and expected resources that will arrive soon. It will give an idea of the extent of the disaster to be able to match the needed resources. The ICS will be activated immediately, preferably headed by the Fire chief as this is a civil disaster only (and not requiring a police chief such as a terrorist attack) so the use of a fire marshal is appropriate. The nature of flooding is that water will seek its lowest level, so affected people are to be moved to higher ground and use of tents not allowed due to strong winds. Rubber boats will be used.
Flooding after a hurricane presents a unique set of problems, primary of which is