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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221869 Find in a Library
Title: Interoperability Versus Assured Communications: Critical Factors for Emergency Managers
Journal: Homeland Defense Journal  Volume:5  Issue:11  Dated:November 2007  Pages:22,24,25
Author(s): Don Philpott
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 3
Type: Technical Assistance
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article identifies and discusses the issues that must be addressed if interoperability (ability of emergency-response agencies to communicate with one another in joint operations) is to be achieved.
Abstract: Barriers to interoperable communications are both technical and operational. Each agency typically has its own distinctive technologies, requirements, operating environments, and procedures. In addition to addressing technology and different communication systems, agencies must examine governance, procedures, training, exercises, and usage. This article identifies four critical considerations in achieving assured communications in a disaster or emergency to which multiple agencies respond. One consideration is "redundant connectivity." In order to ensure emergency communications under conditions in which landlines are out, cell towers down, and power supplies damaged, redundancy is essential. This means looking beyond landlines and cellular phones for more reliable connections that include third-party managed and dedicated satellite communications. A second critical consideration is continuity planning for emergency operations center and 911 capabilities. Government agencies at State and local levels across the country are establishing emergency off-site centers, which gives them back-up facilities and communications capability should the primary dispatch location or command and control center be compromised due to a disaster. A third consideration is the recognition of organizational interdependencies. In the event of a catastrophic incident, there must be provision for instant access to all the essential data and information from all sources, which typically requires the maintenance of connections with other organizations that maintain data. A fourth consideration is making sure that the right people are in the right places during an emergency. This requires having the ability to manage resources from the disaster site. Key personnel must know where they should be in an emergency, as well as their specific functions in a crisis.
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Communications; Disaster procedures; Emergency procedures; Interagency cooperation; Police emergency planning; Police emergency procedures; Telecommunications; Telecommunications equipment
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