CARD's Incident Command System for Community Responders

The Incident Command System (ICS) for Community Responders is a rewritten and reframed version of ICS, created by CARD (Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters – a nonprofit organization headquartered in Alameda County, California) to empower and serve the preparedness and response needs of nonprofits, faith agencies, and other organizations existing and operating outside the traditional emergency-management infrastructure.

The attached PowerPoint presentation walks the audience through a short bit of history, then explains ICS fundamentals by using the scenario of one person dealing with a simple kitchen fire. The presentation ends with a list of helpful suggestions on how to use what has been presented, and how to apply the concept of “deliberate practice” to build specific ICS skills and capabilities.

When delivered as part of a CARD training curriculum, the on-screen actions depicted in this shortened version are supplemented with real-life stories and examples, some recommended exercises, a variety of printed materials, and the opportunity for audience interaction.  Stripped of both acronyms and insiders’ jargon – and of the bureaucracy needed for a more sophisticated response – the presentation allows virtually anyone without formal emergency training to understand: (a) how the Incident Command System can be beneficially applied to all (or almost all) emergencies and disasters; and (b) how it can be particularly helpful in almost any other situation in which the mobilization of both human and physical resources is needed.

Many professional emergency managers throughout the United States – overseas as well – have found the CARD approach to be invaluable in socializing an often intimidating topic, decreasing the anxiety of civilian audiences, and shortening the overall learning curve for sometimes reluctant participants.


For more information on CARD, click on

Ana-Marie Jones

Ana-Marie Jones is the executive director of CARD, which was created by local community agencies after the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California. CARD trains and supports nonprofits and their special needs’ consumers in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities. During Ms. Jones’s tenure she has re-written and redefined CARD’s services and curriculum to ensure they are based on community building, economic empowerment, and leadership-development philosophies.  Before joining CARD in April 2000, she worked for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services Coastal Region on projects supporting community organizations and people with special needs. She also served as the acting executive director of the Northern California Disaster Preparedness Network, a five-year funding initiative dedicated to creating emergency preparedness and response resources for vulnerable and underserved communities.



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