Directorate for Preparedness
| 12.20.2005 | 08:44:24 | Views: 2820 | ID:
December 20 '05: Government Computer News reported Monday that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a public comment on its interoperability measures to "coordinate public safety communications and interoperability, known as SAFECOM."
DHS has stressed that is is vital for federal, state and local levels of government to be able to communicate to one another in times of national crisis - be it natural of man-made - several government reports such as the 9/11 Commission Report and the Gilmore Commission have stressed the importance of communication in preparedness and readiness.GCN reported the public comment period on DHS' program will run through Feb. 17, 2006 and that according to the Federal Register, the comment period will help the department in planning projects and coordinating public cooperation. The SAFECOM program and public comment period is part of a realignment of DHS undertaken after the resignation of former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. The creation of the Directorate for Preparedness was designed to "consolidate assets from across the Department; facilitate grants; oversee nationwide preparedness efforts supporting first responder training, citizen awareness, public health, infrastructure and cybersecurity," a DHS release read. The news from GCN also coincides with an announcement from DHS regarding the appointment of a new undersecretary for preparedness. George W. Foresman was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and in a released statement on Monday, the secretary said one of the priorities of the Directorate of Preparedness was to "ensure that our work has a focused direction." "There is an urgent need," Chertoff said, "to enhance the preparedness for catastrophic events in this country, where natural or man made. ... [T]he new directorate will strengthen our preparedness capabilities so that the nation is ready to meet any type of threat or disaster it may face."
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