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DHS-National Emergency Communications Plan

DHS-National Emergency Communications Plan

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National EmergencyCommunications Plan
National EmergencyCommunications Plan
July 2008
Rev. Aug 7, 2008
National Emergency Communications Plan
July 2008National Emergency Communications Plan
July 2008
Message from the Secretary
Numerous after-action reports from major incidents throughout the history of emergencymanagement in our Nation have cited communications difficulties among the manyresponding agencies as a major failing and challenge to policymakers. Congress and theAdministration have recognized that a successful response to a future major incident—either a terrorist attack or natural disaster—requires a coordinated, interoperable responseby the Nation’s public safety, public health, and emergency management community,both public and private, at the Federal, State, tribal, territorial, regional, and local levels.Recognizing the need for an overarching strategy to help coordinate and guide suchefforts, Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security to develop the first
National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP)
. The purpose of the NECP is topromote the ability of emergency response providers and relevant government officials tocontinue to communicate in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and otherman-made disasters and to ensure, accelerate, and attain interoperable emergencycommunications nationwide.Natural disasters and acts of terrorism have shown that there is no simple solution—or“silver bullet”—to solve the communications problems that still plague law enforcement,firefighting, rescue, and emergency medical personnel.To strengthen emergency communications capabilities nationwide, the Plan focuses ontechnology, coordination, governance, planning, usage, training and exercises at all levelsof government. This approach recognizes that communications operability is a criticalbuilding block for interoperability; emergency response officials first must be able toestablish communications within their own agency before they can interoperate withneighboring jurisdictions and other agencies.The NECP seeks to build on the substantial progress that we have made over the lastseveral years. Among the key developments at the Federal, State, regional, and locallevels are:
Most Federal programs that support emergency communications have beenconsolidated within a single agency—
—to improve the alignment,integration, and coordination of the Federal mission.
All 56 States and U.S. territories have developed
Statewide CommunicationInteroperability Plans
(SCIP) that identify near- and long-term initiatives forimproving communications interoperability.
The Nation’s
75 largest
urban and metropolitan areas
maintain policies forinteroperable communications.
National Emergency Communications Plan
July 2008National Emergency Communications Plan
July 2008
SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum
is widely accepted and used by theemergency response community to address critical elements for planning andimplementing interoperability solutions. These elements include governance,standard operating procedures, technology, training and exercises, and usage of interoperable communications.
The DHS Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is establishing
Regional Emergency Communications Coordination
(RECC) Working Groupsin each of the 10 FEMA regions to coordinate multi-state efforts and measureprogress on improving the survivability, sustainability, and interoperability of communications at the regional level.In developing the NECP, DHS worked closely with stakeholders from all levels of government to ensure that their priorities and activities were addressed. The Departmentwill continue to coordinate with Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, and theprivate sector, to ensure that the NECP is implemented successfully.Ultimately, the NECP’s goals cannot be achieved without the support and dedication of the emergency response community that was instrumental in crafting it. I ask everyonewithin the emergency response community to take ownership of the NECP’s initiativesand actions and to dedicate themselves to meeting the key benchmarks. Workingtogether, we can achieve our vision:
Emergency responders can communicate—
 As needed, on demand, and as authorized; At all levels of government; and  Across all disciplines.
Michael Chertoff Secretary of Homeland Security

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