FEMA’s deleted “Incident Management Handbook”

PDF: “Incident Management Handbook” (September 2017)


During one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) posted the new edition of its personnel manual for dealing with disasters. Days later, it was gone.

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The last version of the Incident Management Handbook was apparently an “interim edition” from 2009. In September 2017, FEMA posted the brand-new edition of its 392-page handbook. The first page explains:

The FEMA Incident Management Handbook (IMH) is a tool to assist FEMA emergency management personnel in conducting their assigned missions in the field. The IMH provides information on FEMA’s incident-level operating concepts, organizational structures, functions, position descriptions, and key assets and teams.

Gary Price of infoDOCKET.com told me that he noticed the new edition in early September, and he immediately saved it to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Then, on September 18, he saw that it was gone from FEMA’s site. This has been the link:


A landing page for the handbook still exists, but the link to the PDF has been erased:


The landing page notes that it was last updated on September 14, 2017. That’s apparently when they “updated” it by deleting the handbook.

What was happening around September 14? Hurricane Harvey smashed into Texas on August 25. Hurricane Irma cudgeled Cuba on September 8-9 and hit Florida on the 10th. Maria formed on September 16, decimating Puerto Rico on the 20th.

Seems like that would’ve been a really good time to have the new emergency manual easily available.


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