Planning Resources

In addition to the five elements of the Interoperability Continuum, planning is a major factor for interoperable communications. The documents in this section include resources about the National Emergency Communications Plan, education and outreach programs, and maintaining awareness of the specific issues and barriers that affect interoperability communications.

National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP)
Provides information and guidance to those that plan for, coordinate, invest in, and utilize operable and interoperable communications for response and recovery operations.

SAFECOM Nationwide Survey
The SAFECOM Nationwide Survey(SNS) was a data collection initiative the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) conducted from late 2017 thru March 2018 in order to enable the assessment of federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in regards to emergency communications. Results from the SNS support CISA's development of the Nationwide Communications Baseline Assessment (NCBA) in accordance with the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended (6 U.S.C. §573(a)).

Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Communications Interoperability: A Guide for Interagency Communications Projects
This Guide is designed to give practitioners, an agency executive or project manager, background on the subject of communications interoperability and tools to carry out technology initiatives that make this interoperability possible.

          Media Coverage:
          SEARCH, COPS Office Releases 2nd Edition of Communications Interop Tech Guide
          COPS, New Release: Communications Interoperability Planning Guidebook Updated 

Coordination and Partnerships Awareness Guide
Describes the importance of partnering with emergency response communities across all jurisdictional boundaries during emergencies.

Interoperable Communications for Planned Events
This guide is intended for emergency response officials responsible for designing and executing interoperable communications plans for planned events in his or her community.

Plain Language Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Addresses questions regarding the importance of adopting plain language to improve interoperable communications.

Plain Language: Making the Transition from Ten Codes to Plain Language
This brochure outlines an approach for States, localities, and emergency response agencies to replace coded language radio transmission with plain language.

Why Can’t We Talk? Working Together to Bridge the Communications Gap to Save Lives
Provides case studies of successful public safety interoperability systems throughout the nation.

Why Can’t We Talk? A Guide for Public Officials
Examines traditional barriers to interoperability and provides information on what needs to be done to overcome them.

Initial Response Checklist
Developed by the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), this checklist supports SWICs in initial deployment by providing a list of recommended items to bring during an emergency response. The scenarios include basic Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deployment, field or technical deployment, or Communications Unit (COMU) deployment. The list also exists in a condensed version for the SWIC to print and laminate for convenience.

Succession Planning Resources for Public Safety Communications: A Planning and Program Guide for Public Safety Communications Personnel
This guidance document recommends public safety agencies identify public safety communications coordinators and provides an overview of how public safety organizations can retain institutional knowledge through transitioning traditional public safety into communications roles.

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