The National Preparedness System diagram. Encircling the diagram is "Whole Community", "National Incident Management System (NIMS)", "Core Capabilities"Identifying & Assessing Risk Estimating Capability Requirements Building & Sustaining Capabilities Planning to Deliver Capabilities Validating Capabilities Reviewing & Updating


After completing the estimation process, existing and needed capabilities can be analyzed and gaps identified. This involves figuring out the best way to use limited resources to build and sustain required capabilities. Working together, planners, government officials, and elected leaders can develop strategies to allocate resources effectively.

Resource Allocation Tools

The first step in resource allocation is ensuring you have a full understanding of the capabilities your resources support in alignment with NIMS resource typing and job titles/position qualifications, and that you have a current and standards-based inventory of those resources.  

National Resource Hub - The National Resource Hub is a suite of web-based tools that support a consistent approach for the resource management preparedness process that includes the following tools:

  • Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT) – RTLT is an online catalog of all NIMS resources typing definitions and job titles/position qualification sheets that have been released by FEMA.

  • Resource Inventory System – The Resource Inventory System is a distributed resource inventory software tool provided at no cost by FEMA. It is standards-based and allows the seamless exchange of information with other instances of IRIS and with third-party software applications.

  • OneResponder System - The OneResponder System is a web-based master qualifications system that provides a common language and approach to qualify and certify emergency personnel. 

Training and Education Tools

As capabilities are built, training and education are used to develop and strengthen the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required to meet each capability's target.

  • Course Catalog – Visit FEMA's online Course Catalog to search for information of courses provided or managed by FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), Emergency Management Institute (EMI), and National Training and Education Division (NTED).

  • The FEMA Higher Education Program’s mission is to serve the Emergency Management profession through education.  This is accomplished through the promotion of personal mastery, the examination of mental models, and the cultivation of shared visions, team learning, and systems thinking to support an innovative, growth-mindset learning community for emergency management.

    The Higher Education Program upholds FEMA’s mission and vision. We align our activities with the current FEMA Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives. We work toward building a culture of preparedness through education and research. We ready the nation for catastrophic disasters in supporting the development, delivery, and dialogue of academically rigorous resources and practice to the emergency management profession.  The Higher Education Program is an integrated part of the National Training and Education System (NTES) within the National Training & Education Division. The Higher Education program is outcome-driven, effective, efficient, and dedicated to continuous improvement. 

    To learn more about the FEMA Higher Education Program efforts, resources, activities and you can get involved check out our website.

Grant and Technical Assistance Resources

Grants and technical assistance may also be available to support building and sustaining capabilities.

  • Preparedness Grants – FEMA provides state and local governments with preparedness program funding in the form of Non-Disaster Grants to enhance the capacity of state and local emergency responders.

  • Technical Assistance – FEMA provides Technical Assistance (TA) to jurisdictions to support the building and sustaining of capabilities through specific services and analytical capacities. More information about the Technical Assistance Program can be found at


Preparedness Cycle Diagram - Exercise to Evaluate/Improve to Plan to Organize/Equip to Train

Links to the Preparedness Cycle:

Organize & Equip: In order for an organization to build and sustain capabilities, they need to organize and equip. Organizing and equipping include identifying what competencies and skillsets people delivering a capability should possess and ensuring an organization possesses the correct personnel. Additionally, it includes identifying and acquiring standard and/or surge equipment an organization may need to use when delivering a specific capability.

Train: Building and sustaining the human capital to fulfill capability requirements is dependent on providing the necessary training. Training provides first responders, homeland security officials, emergency management officials, private and non-governmental partners, and other personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform key tasks required by specific capabilities.


Critical Linkages

  • National Incident Management System (NIMS) – NIMS is a systematic, proactive approach to guide communities at all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents.