The Emergency Communications Preparedness Center (ECPC) is the federal interagency focal point for interoperable and operable communications coordination. Its members represent the federal government's broad role in emergency communications, including regulation, policy, operations, grants, and technical assistance.
The ECPC is comprised of 14 federal departments and agencies: U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and the Treasury. The Federal Communications Commission and the General Services Administration are also members of the ECPC.
Following recommendations from the 9/11 Commission Report and lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Congress identified the need for stronger coordination and national leadership to address gaps in emergency responders' abilities to communicate across jurisdictions and functions. To address these issues, Congress authorized the establishment of the ECPC (Section 671, Pub. Law No. 109-295).
The ECPC Federal 911 Working Group was established in 2015 to enhance coordination of federal 911 initiatives. The ECPC Federal 911 Working Group Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Working Group’s purpose, priorities, and products and resources.
The ECPC's strategic priorities include:
- Increase efficiencies at the federal level through joint investment and resource sharing
- Improve alignment of strategic and operational emergency communications planning across levels of government
- Improve alignment of federal resources addressing state, local, and tribal capabilities to ensure focus on critical gaps and priorities
- Leverage collective resources to drive standards for existing and emerging public safety communications technologies (for example, Next Generation 9-1-1, land mobile radio, long term evolution, etc.).
The ECPC serves as a clearinghouse for the sharing of intergovernmental information relating to emergency communications. The ECPC established an enhanced version of this clearinghouse, which is located on www.max.gov, to increase the sharing of intergovernmental information that supports and promotes interoperable and emergency communications. This enables improved efficiency and effectiveness of federal emergency communications coordination programs, and helps avoid duplication and other counterproductive efforts among ECPC member departments and agencies.
Annual Strategic Assessment
The ECPC prepares and submits to Congress an Annual Strategic Assessment regarding the coordination efforts among federal departments and agencies to advance interoperable emergency communications and the capability of emergency response providers and responsible government officials to continue to communicate in anticipation of, and response to, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. The ECPC also considers the goals stated in the National Emergency Communications Plan in preparing the Annual Strategic Assessment.