The DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications's (CS&C) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) was created by Congress in response to the communications challenges witnessed during Hurricane Katrina. It is responsible for leading NS/EP and emergency communications in coordination and cooperation with other DHS organizations. The OEC is a sub-component within the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
The OEC supports the Secretary of Homeland Security in developing, implementing, and coordinating interoperable and operable communications for the emergency response community at all levels of government. The OEC was directed by Title XVIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (as amended) to lead the development of a National Emergency Communications Plan.
The OEC operates a variety of analysis tools that provide support of the office's ability to fulfill NS/EP activities. For example, the Infrastructure Mapping Tool provides detailed analysis of the nation's communications infrastructure by providing detailed information (e.g., location and type) about nodes and switches within the communications infrastructure as well as information on the owners of the various components. This can assist with assessment of potential impacts that may occur as a result of all types of disasters (e.g., earthquakes or hurricanes), which are shared with the communications service providers.