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


Once you've identified and assessed your risks you will need to determine the specific capabilities and activities to best address those risks. Some capabilities may already exist in your community and some may need to be built, improved upon, or borrowed. The capability estimation process begins with developing a set of planning factors. Planning factors can be developed for any mission area and are used to establish target levels for the related capabilities. This aids in identifying the resources required to achieve those targets.


FEMA provides guidance and tools for use by communities in estimating capability requirements.  

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


Links to the Preparedness Cycle:

Plan: Estimating capability requirements is part of both strategic and operational planning. The results of a capability estimation process should be used as a key input in an organization’s planning process.

Organize & Equip: Before an organization can organize and equip, they need to estimate what their capability requirements are first. Defining capability estimates is the first step in organizing and equipping an organization with the human and technical capital stock necessary to build capabilities and address modernization and sustainability.


Critical Linkages

The capability estimation process also relies on tactical planning, strategic planning, and NIMS resource typing definitions and position qualifications.

  • Strategic and Tactical Planning – FEMA provides a multitude of tools that support strategic and tactical planning.

  • National Incident Management System (NIMS) – NIMS is a systematic, proactive approach to guide communities at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamless and manage incidents. NIMS is at the core of building and sustaining capabilities.

  • NIMS Resource Typing & Inventorying – FEMA provides several tools to aid communities in using NIMS resource typing definitions, job titles/position qualifications, and for consistently inventorying resources in alignment with NIMS.