The Four Elements of a Comprehensive Resource Management Process
During disasters, affected areas need assets, quickly. Resource management is the organizational practice designed to get those assets efficiently to the people and places that need them. But what does a comprehensive resource management process look like? Read on to learn the four elements of a comprehensive resource management process.
For starters, the process tends to be highly site-specific. After all, the purpose of a comprehensive resource management process, as indicated by the latest NIMS Resource Management guidance, is to (1) align resource capabilities and terminology, (2) streamline resource coordination, and (3) ensure interoperability across jurisdictions of all sizes.
Assets to include in your comprehensive resource management process
But what kinds of resources help a jurisdiction build the capabilities needed to respond to incidents?
In this context, five kinds of resources stand out; they include:
But when it comes to public health capacity specifically, the following resources matter:
- Epidemiological supplies
- Epidemiological equipment
- Epidemiological response teams
Taken together, these resources serve as the building blocks of the overall incident response capability. And that’s why each jurisdiction or organization that owns, maintains, and operates said resources is ultimately responsible for managing the minimum capability, interoperability, and sharing of these resources during an incident.
Essential elements of a comprehensive resource management process
That’s not to say that the resource management process itself should be siloed off. Far from it.
A comprehensive resource management process ought to fit into the broader emergency preparedness process.
Indeed, resource management preparedness, when done effectively, builds on activities that organizations and jurisdictions are already implementing, such as emergency operations planning.
But what processes should resource management preparedness consist of? Here, according to NIMS, are the four elements of a comprehensive resource management process:
1. Acquiring, storing, and inventorying resources
A collaborative process in which departments, agencies, and organizations each maintain their own resources and jurisdictions/organizations coordinate with them to track and inventory broad operational capabilities and logistical requirements.
Resources are typically acquired through purchases, donations, or hiring personnel, with processes and protocols varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Once inventory resources are on hand, though, jurisdictions should properly store them for future use, with relevant processes and procedures for storage also varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
2. Identifying and typing resources
A process primarily focused on resources that deploy across jurisdictional boundaries, so that jurisdictions and organizations can build a common understanding of a specific resource and its capabilities.
In the case of NIMS-typed resources, specifically, the process entails pre-identifying resources that a jurisdiction or organization wants to align with NIMS resource typing definitions. Jurisdictions and organizations may have other resources that are not currently NIMS-typed but are still used regularly.
3. Qualifying, certifying, and credentialing personnel
A peer-reviewed process for certifying the qualifications of incident personnel and credentialing personnel based on those qualifications.
4. Planning for resources
The process of developing plans for identifying, managing, estimating, allocating, ordering, deploying, and demobilizing resources. This planning process includes identifying resource requirements based on site-specific threats and vulnerabilities. It comprises the following:
- Estimating current capabilities
- Assessing resource management gaps
- Establishing resource management planning priorities
- Implementing mutual aid agreements to address gaps
Of course, the elements of your comprehensive resource management process aren’t the whole story when it comes to resource management. For more, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Resource Management.