Want to be able to communicate with your community or institutional first-responders in case of an emergency? Would you like to be included in emergency preparedness and response activities in your institution or community? If so, you need to become familiar with the National Incident Management System (NIMS). This system provides a common language and structure for response that is shared by all first responders and emergency management people in the U.S. NIMS training is free and open to all, and you can view the course offerings at http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp on the FEMA site. We recommend starting with IS-700 (available here http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is700a.asp), which provides an overview of the system, then you can add any courses that seem particularly applicable to your role. Most modules, especially the introductory-level ones, are available to be taken asynchronously on your own computer and at your own pace, and you can probably complete one in about 20 minutes or so. So let’s resolve that 2011 will be the year we increase our knowledge base for emergency response and make ourselves more valuable to our institutions and communities!