Briefing IIMARCH

Once commanders have made decisions and decided on actions, information must be relayed in a structured way that can be easily understood by those who will carry out actions or support activities. This is commonly known as briefing.  Using IIMARCH headings as a guide, a brief can be prepared in appropriate detail.

IIMARCH (Information, Intent, Method, Administration, Risk Assessment, Communications and Humanitarian Issues) is not the only structured briefing format available. However, it is widely used by emergency responders.

When using IIMARCH to prepare a briefing it is helpful to consider the following:

  • Brevity is important - if it is not relevant, leave it out
  • Communicate using unambiguous language free from jargon and in terms people will understand
  • Check that others understand and explain if necessary
  • Consider whether an agreed information assessment tool or framework has been used

To download an example IIMARCH template click here.

When using IIMARCH the following should be considered:


Element Key questions Considerations

What, where, when, how?

So what?

What might?

How many?
  • Timeline and history (if applicable)
  • Key facts reported using M/ETHANE:

Major Incident (declared or not?)
Exact Location
Type of Incident
Number of casualties
Emergency services


Why are we here?

What are we trying to achieve?
  • Strategic aim and objectives
  • Joint working strategy
METHOD How are we going to do it?
  • Command, control and coordination arrangements
  • Tactical and operational policy and plans
  • Contingency plans

What is required for effective, efficient and safe implementation?

  • Identification of commanders
  • Tasking
  • Timing
  • Decision logs
  • Equipment
  • Dress code & PPE
  • Welfare, food and logistics

What are the relevant risks?

What measures are required to
mitigate them?
  • To reflect the JESIP principle - joint understanding of risk
  • Using the ERICPD hierarchy for risk control as appropriate
  • Decision controls

How are we going to initiate and
maintain communications with all partners
and interested parties?

  • Radio Call signs
  • Other means of communication
  • Understanding of interagency communications
  • Information assessment
  • Dealing with the media, develop a joint media strategy and plan 

What humanitarian assistance and
human rights issues arise
or may arise from this event and the
response to it?

  • Requirement for humanitarian assistance
  • Information sharing and disclosure
  • Potential impacts on individuals’ human rights