Standard Operating Procedures

Standard operating procedures -- formal written guidelines or instructions for incident response -- typically have both operational and technical components. Established SOPs enable emergency responders to successfully coordinate an incident response across disciplines and jurisdictions. Clear and effective SOPs are essential in the development and deployment of any interoperable commu­nications solution.

Individual Agency SOPs—SOPs exist only within individual agen­cies and are not shared, resulting in uncoordinated procedures and/or incompatible data systems among agencies that can hinder effective multi-agency/multi-discipline response.

Joint SOPs for Planned Events—The development of SOPs for planned events—this typically represents the first phase as agencies begin to work together to develop interoperability.

Joint SOPs for Emergencies—SOPs for emergency level response that are developed as agencies continue to promote interoperability.

Regional Set of Communications SOPs—Region-wide commu­nications SOPs for multi-agency/multi-discipline/multi-hazard responses serve as an integral step towards optimal interoperability.

National Incident Management System Integrated SOPs—Regional SOPs are molded to conform to the elements of the National Incident Management System.


National Incident Management System

The National Incident Management System(link is external) provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment.

FEMA's National Incident Management System


Writing Guide for SOPs(link is external)

Formal Agreement and SOP Template Suite and Reference Library(link is external)

Writing Guide for MOUs

ink is external)he Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan is designed to allow urban areas, counties, regions, states/territories, tribes or federal departments/agencies to document interoperable communications governance structures, technology assets and usage policies and procedures.

Regional/Urban Area Tactical Interoperable Communications Plans

The TICP is used to clearly define the breadth and scope of interoperable assets available in the area; how those assets are shared and how their use is prioritized; and the steps individual agencies should follow to request, activate use, and deactivate each asset.

Completed TICPs were required for all 2005 Urban Area Security Initiative sites and are encouraged for newly designated UASI (and non-UASI) cities, counties, multi-county regions, tribes and states/territories. The TICP template provides a description of the standard structure of a TICP and the relevant sections to be populated according to the unique needs of an urban area, county, region, state/territory, tribe or federal department/agency.

         SAFECOM TICP Template(link is external)