Emergency Communications

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) enhances public safety interoperable communications at all levels of government and conducts extensive, nationwide outreach to support and promote the ability of emergency response providers and relevant government officials to communicate in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other hazards.

National Planning icon
National Planning
Statewide Planning icon
Statewide Planning
Priority Services icon
Priority Services
Partnerships icon
Partnerships
Technical Assistance icon
Technical Assistance
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Regional Coordination

Planning and Preparedness

CISA provides plans, resources, and training to support operable and interoperable emergency communications for first responders.

  • National Emergency Communications Plan: The National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) is the Nation’s over-arching strategic plan to drive measurable improvements in emergency communications across all levels of government and disciplines. First released in 2008, the plan is periodically updated to reflect the ongoing evolution of emergency communications technologies and processes. The next revision is due to be complete in 2019. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/necp.
  • Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans: Workshops are available to states to assist with updating and implementing Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans (SCIPs). SCIPs are locally-driven, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-disciplinary statewide plans designed to enhance communications interoperability. CISA assists all 56 states and territories develop and implement SCIPs aligned to the NECP. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/statewide-communication-interoperability-plans.

Response

Tools needed to communicate during steady state and emergency operations are available through CISA’s programs, allowing first responders to have priority telecommunications services that support emergency communications and restoration.

Priority Telecommunications Services: Provides priority telecommunications services over commercial networks to enable national security and emergency preparedness personnel to communication during congestion scenarios across the Nation. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/oec-communications-portfolio-management.

Coordination

Emergency communications training, tools, workshops, regional support and guidance documents are available to ensure that public safety have communications support during steady state and emergency operations.

  • Stakeholder Collaboration: CISA supports the work of stakeholder groups and programs operating at all levels of government, including: SAFECOM, National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators, Emergency Communications Preparedness Center, Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications and International border working groups. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/oec. To access SAFECOM and other stakeholder guidance documents and other publications, visit http://www.dhs.gov/safecom.
  • Interoperable Communications and Technical Assistance Program: A portfolio of no-cost communications technical assistance (TA) is available that supports implementation of the NECP, state’s and territories’ SCIPs, broadband planning, voice and digital network engineering, training, exercise support, and operational assessment focused on interoperable emergency communications at all levels of government. Currently, CISA’s TA guide has numerous offerings which can be customized to stakeholder’s specific needs. Requests for TA and SCIP support can be submitted through individual Statewide Interoperability Coordinators. To access these tools and the TA guide, visit www.dhs.gov/ictapscip-resources. 
  • Emergency Communications Coordination: CISA has subject matter experts located across the country to engage stakeholders and address the complex issues facing the emergency communications ecosystems. The CISA Emergency Communications Coordination program strengthens emergency communications and response capabilities across Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (FSLTT) governments through trusted relationships, collaborations, and program development. CISA’s Emergency Communications Coordinators assist state and regional stakeholders with their communications planning for day-to-day operations, special events and crisis communications coordination, and subject matter expertise for the communications and information technology industries. CISA’s ECD also provides support to federal response and recovery of commercial communications, wireline, wireless, satellite, and broadcast infrastructures, and provides emergency response and recovery assistance supporting communications coordination for FSLTT authorities. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/oec-regional-coordination-program.

Resources

For more information about CISA Emergency Communications, please visit www.dhs.gov/oec or email OEC@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated Date: September 10, 2019

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