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DHS National Emergency Communications Plan

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Citation Edit

Department of Homeland Security, National Emergency Communications Plan (July 2008) (full-text).

Overview Edit

The National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) is an overarching strategy to help coordinate and guide interoperable response by the U.S.’s public safety, public health, and emergency management community, both public and private, at the Federal, State, tribal, territorial, regional, and local levels.

In Title XVIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended, Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security to develop the first NECP to promote the ability of emergency response providers and relevant government officials to continue to communicate in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters and to ensure, accelerate, and attain interoperable emergency communications nationwide. It called for the NECP to be developed in coordination with stakeholders from all levels of government and from the private sector. In response, DHS worked with stakeholders from Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies to develop the NECP — a strategic plan that establishes a national vision for the future state of emergency communications.

The NECP focuses on the emergency communications needs of response personnel in every discipline, at every level of government, and for the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

The NECP established the following seven objectives for improving emergency communications for the Nation’s Federal, State, local, and tribal emergency responders:

  1. Formal decision-making structures and clearly defined leadership roles coordinate emergency communications capabilities.
  2. Federal emergency communications programs and initiatives are collaborative across agencies and aligned to achieve national goals.
  3. Emergency responders employ common planning and operational protocols to effectively use their resources and personnel.
  4. Emerging technologies are integrated with current emergency communications capabilities through standards implementation, research and development, and testing and evaluation.
  5. Emergency responders have shared approaches to training and exercises, improved technical expertise, and enhanced response capabilities.
  6. All levels of government drive long-term advancements in emergency communications through integrated strategic planning procedures, appropriate resource allocations, and public-private partnerships.
  7. The Nation has integrated preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery capabilities to communicate during significant events.

The NECP also provides recommended initiatives and milestones to guide emergency response providers and relevant government officials in making measurable improvements in emergency communications capabilities. The NECP recommendations help to guide, but do not dictate, the distribution of homeland security funds to improve emergency communications at the Federal, State, and local levels, and to support the NECP implementation.

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