Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Typed Resource Definitions

Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency


On Oct. 20, 2004, FEMA and the NIMS Integration Center (NIC) released the National Mutual Aid Glossary of Terms and Definitions, and Resource Typing Definitions for 120 different kinds of resources. The resource typing definitions were prepared by subject matter experts and federal, state and local responders who would be using the definitions to inventory assets and support mutual aid requests. In addition to the persons directly involved in the groups, there were over 300 corresponding members who reviewed working drafts and participated in the formation of the definitions. The Glossary and Resource Typed Definitions can be accessed at

Resource typing and mutual aid are key components of the National Incident Management System. And since the release of NIMS and the National Response Plan (NRP), there has been an increased interest in the definitions. In some cases, this has led to a few states and localities developing new ones after concluding that the definitions don’t fit their needs.

The whole idea of NIMS is based on the need for standard definitions and practices; differing definitions will in effect negate the fundamental idea that all responders should be using common definitions when ordering or receiving assets though mutual aid. Systems that do not conform to these common definitions are not compliant with NIMS.

The NIMS Integration Center recognizes that in some instances changes need to be made to the definitions and in other instances entirely new ones created. The Center will facilitate this process to ensure that we maintain a consistent nationwide approach to resource typing and consistency across the nation. Recommend changes or additions will be compiled and fed into the resource typing groups for consideration on a quarterly basis. The groups will remain dynamic so that we can have leaders in functional areas directly represented or include corresponding members. Persons wishing to provide comments or suggestions are invited to send an e-mail to, or call us at 202-646-3850.



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