Communications infrastructure coordination by the federal government
| 07.19.2006 | 05:46:54 | Views: 2813 | ID:
July 19 '06: Emergency communication and coordination by the federal government has yielded little progress since the September 11, 2001 attacks according to a new article released by the Heritage Foundation over the weekend. Instead of emergency communication management, the article said, the federal government should focus on the cooperation of the public and private sectors in supporting a joint response and recovery process which "would include adhering to a set of policies that promote effective public-private sharing" of emergency management communications standards to be applied to a network that could coordinate federal, state and local "leadership for emergency response communications."
Because of resources, time spent building new networks and integrating governments and organizations into those networks, the federal government "should therefore focus on the tasks that only Washington can perform.""Only the federal government can integrate the efforts of local, state, regional and private-sector assets into a national response system that enables the nation as a whole to support local communities in the event of a disaster," the article read. Having a national standard for emergency communication would require a "dual-use" frequency spectrum for radio and other communications technologies - that system also would have to be able to respond "to everyday demands" and be able to "establish regional and national communications, and operate when the infrastructure is degraded." Already on the state and local level, governments are trying alternative measures such as text messaging to alert the public during an emergency. Text messaging can also be used to contact rescuers and responders when phone lines are down. On the federal level, the new Emergency Alert System will send messages to Americans' phones, PDA's, and laptop computers. A national response network would require three focus points: the ability to respond to everyday emergencies; coordinating the federal, regional, state and local response operations; and have the system operate as an integrated and resilient cog in the nation's infrastructure, largely resistant to severe conditions such as blackouts from loss of power and severe weather.
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