Ever wonder how disaster response is coordinated with all of the various emergency response agencies on scene? Disaster and emergency management requires a system to adequately address response and recovery to the incident. The Incident Command System was created in the 1960s initially to fight wildfires and over the years has evolved to the current system in place today. As part of national preparedness, all federal, state and local governmental agencies are required to utilize the Incident Command System, commonly called ‘ICS’. Additionally, many hospitals, education institutions and numerous other organizations use ICS because simply, it allows everyone to be able to talk to each other in a common organization and understand their roles. With senior Coast Guard Officer experience expanding over 20 years in the disaster and emergency management field, I have utilized this experience to present ICS in a simpler, understandable format for those interested in disaster response and recovery planning.