Partnership Diversity: FEMA's National-Incident Management Assistance Teams (44)

Michael Paddock, Ph.D., NOAA/NWS Western Region Headquarters, McClellan Park, CA



The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has three National-Incident Management Assistance Teams (N-IMATs). The N-IMATs are "on-call" teams that deploy on short notice to help establish command of large scale disasters that exceed a state or region's response capabilities. These teams are comprised of an extremely diverse staff divided among command, operations, planning, and logistics sections, including liaison officers from the American Red Cross, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Weather Service (NWS). When deployed, the initial N-IMAT goal is to be on-site and fully functional within 12 hours of an incident while establishing a Unified Command of the incident response. These teams are also designed to be self sustaining for up to 72 hours. This presentation will discuss the diverse configuration, roles, and responsibilities of the N-IMATs, including where the NWS Liaison Officer (LNO) fits within the team structure. This will highlight team building as well as exemplify educational diversity, as the NWS LNO needs to learn team differences and dynamics for tailoring essential support.