Connecting our nation's Crisis Information Management Systems
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Many states and localities have implemented Crisis Information Management Systems (CIMS) to integrate situational awareness, notification and disaster assessment tools utilized in Emergency Operation Centers (EOC)s and to eliminate separate stovepipe communications. In February 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the deployment of the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) as the primary means for all jurisdictions and levels of government to share information. The system is redundant with state and local CIMS, which have and are being developed. Implementing both the integration and interoperability of EOCs requires that the systems used every day be connected; this cannot be achieved through the development of a new system. To implement this solution will require four steps. 1. Jurisdictions utilizing CIMS should do more to leverage built in capabilities and jurisdictions without CIMS systems to consider purchasing 2. Jurisdictions should integrate the individual information systems currently in use with the jurisdiction's CIMS 3. Jurisdictions should improve their systems' abilities to collect and store information 4. Jurisdictions should create a portal to allow specific information to be shared across larger regional areas at their discretion and with greater control over who receives the information
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