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What can Incident Control System (ICS) do for your business?

By Melissa Otero | Harkcon's Program Manager ICS can be used during out of the ordinary incidents that may require a response; during critical incidents or disruptive events within your organization; and during pre-planned events that require an organized response from your organization. ICS can also be used during large incidents near your organization that will require a response from your organization and during incidents when you will provide logistical support to a larger organization.

So the big question is, “Where do you use ICS?” ICS can be used on critical incidents or disruptive events within your organization. ICS can essentially be used anywhere and anytime. To be successful, the key to remember is that ICS needs to be part of daily operations. ICS principles can be used when you have the need for a planned event or response, whether it is in response to an incident or a coordinated system of organizing business events.

Anytime you need to respond to an incident or plan an event ICS principles can become a significant benefit to helping employees understand how to operate. ICS can be a productive force in keeping your organization up to date and ready for any emergency response. The bottom line is that anywhere and anytime ICS can be used on critical incidents of disruptive events within your organization.

ICS can be used to enhance your ability to respond effectively and appropriately to an incident (big or small) that occurs within or nearby your workplace; to develop strong relationships with your local response agencies and participate in local exercises to prepare for large catastrophic events; and to become part of the larger team in a big event if you know how to fit into the structure. It can also help you prepare for Process Safety Management (PSM) accreditation, if necessary.

Private sector businesses should use ICS so that you have a proven and reliable emergency response system in place for your place of business. ICS also provides a common plan and language in interfacing with first responders. Understanding when, where, and why private business would use ICS is important, but there could also be “business opportunities” attached to effectively utilizing ICS. We will briefly discuss this concept next.

Using ICS as a private sector structure helps businesses interact, communicate, and provides a common language with county, state, and federal emergency management organizations. ICS is the law. It is a proven and accepted methodology that is the only recognized emergency management system across ALL governmental levels and jurisdictions. Using ICS is the only way a business can connect during an incident with all levels of responders.Utilizing the ICS structure puts you in a good position to become part of the solution during a crisis and opens the opportunity to sell your product or services. The key is knowing how your business fits, who to talk to, and how to make yourself known. Some organizations are using the ICS structure as a model to plug in current job titles into the various components of Incident Command. If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to and reference the title, "What can Incident Control System (ICS) do for your business?"

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