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office of emergency communications

An official website of the United States government. For example, 26 of the 54 SWICs responded that OEC could use additional tools or approaches, such as social media, for improving communication with its stakeholders. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2018. For example, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in collaboration with ECD, developed a social media strategy and tool kit to improve communications to public-safety stakeholders and to ensure it is reaching the widest audience. DHS concurred with the recommendation. Published: Feb 6, 2020. Established in 2007 in response to communications challenges faced during the attacks on September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) Emergency Communications Division supports and promotes communications used by emergency responders and government officials to keep America safe, secure, and resilient. CISA plays a key role in ensuring federal, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies have the necessary plans, resources, and training needed to support operable and advanced interoperable emergency communications. Because OEC has not assessed its methods of communication, OEC may not be using the best tools and approaches to provide timely information on training opportunities, workshops, and other emergency communications information to the public-safety community. Published: Jun 1, 2020. Public-safety organizations GAO interviewed and statewide interoperability coordinators (SWIC) GAO surveyed were generally satisfied with OEC's communication efforts. Amateur radio emergency communications is an important resource that augments the city's ability to respond in times of emergency. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) collaborate on grant guidance to help public-safety stakeholders use federal funds for interoperable emergency communications. CISA provides training, coordination, tools, and guidance to help its federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and industry partners develop their emergency communications capabilities. Fax: (206) 684-5998. Published: Mar 4, 2020. The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) offers a range of services and assistance to first responders to support interoperable communications systems and technologies. Phone: (206) 233-5076 Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2020. However, although ECD had multiple efforts supporting interoperable emergency communications that the public-safety community relied on to better respond to emergency situations, absent an assessment of its methods of communication, ECD could not ensure it was using the best methods to provide relevant and timely information to the public-safety community. In addition, public-safety officials reported that they have missed training because they were unaware of opportunities. Recommendation: OEC should assess its methods of communication to help ensure it has the appropriate tools and approaches to communicate quality information to public-safety stakeholders, and as appropriate, make adjustments to its communications strategy. However, because the grants for 2018 were not yet awarded at the time of GAO's review, GAO was unable to assess the effectiveness of the new process. According to federal internal control standards, management should periodically assess its methods of communication so that the organization has the appropriate tools to communicate quality information on a timely basis. However, some would like more information about OEC and its offerings. OEC should assess its methods of communication to help ensure it is using the appropriate tools in communicating with external stakeholders. Comments: Public-safety communications systems are used by thousands of federal, state, and local jurisdictions. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 2020. CISA plays a role in supporting response efforts by ensuring that its stakeholders have the tools needed to communicate during steady state and emergency operations. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2020. According to federal internal control standards, management should externally communicate the necessary quality information to achieve the entity's objectives and periodically assess its methods of communication so that the organization has the appropriate tools to communicate quality information on a timely basis. Graphic showing how first responders use communications systems. It is vital that first responders have communications systems that allow them to connect with their counterparts in other agencies and jurisdictions. For more information, contact Mark Goldstein at (202) 512-2834 or goldsteinm@gao.gov. During this review, the agencies established a process to monitor and assess grantees' compliance with the grant guidance. The Office of Emergency Management oversees Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) responsible for supporting government operations and the neighborhoods during an emergency. In an emergency, it's vital that first responders can communicate with their counterparts in other agencies and jurisdictions. In 2020, we confirmed that ECD reviewed and made changes to its methods of communication, which included, among other things, an enhanced social media presence and additional communications to public-safety stakeholders about training opportunities. Improvements to its communications strategy will help ECD provide relevant and timely information on training opportunities, workshops, technical assistance offerings, and other emergency-communications information to the public-safety community. Was this document helpful? Public-safety communications systems are used by thousands of federal, state, and local jurisdictions. In 2018, we reported it is vital that first responders have communications systems that allow them to connect with their counterparts in other agencies and jurisdictions. For more information about Seattle's Emergency Communications Reserves - please visit the Seattle ACS website by following this link. FirstNet, an independent authority within the Department of Commerce, is establishing a public-safety network. 1. Following response efforts, CISA works with its stakeholders and regional personnel to document best practices and lessons learned to promote improvements in emergency communications during future events. The Office of Emergency Management oversees Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) responsible for supporting government operations and the neighborhoods during an emergency. In an emergency, it's vital that first responders can communicate with their … Within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Emergency Communications Division (ECD) offers written guidance, governance planning, and technical assistance to help ensure public-safety entities have the necessary plans, resources, and training to support emergency communications. OEC has not assessed its methods for communicating with external stakeholders. For example, OEC's and FEMA's memorandum of agreement and standard operating procedures articulate their agreement in formal documents, define their respective responsibilities, and include relevant participants. 105 5th Ave S, Suite 300, Seattle, WA, 98104 FCC Should Enhance Performance Goals and Measures for Its Program to Support Broadband Service in High-Cost Areas, FCC Should Take Action to Better Manage Persistent Fraud Risks in the Schools and Libraries Program, FCC Needs Comprehensive Strategic Planning to Guide Its Efforts, Observations on Past and Ongoing Efforts to Expand Access and Improve Mapping Data, Agencies Should Fully Implement Established Transition Planning Practices to Help Reduce Risk of Costly Delays, Fully Implementing Established Transition Planning Practices Would Help Agencies Reduce Risk of Costly Delays, Agencies Need to Address Pending Applications and Monitor Industry Progress on System Improvements, Network Deployment Is Progressing, but FirstNet Could Strengthen Its Oversight, Information on Federal Agencies' Efforts to Enforce Laws, Educate the Public, and Support Technical Initiatives. Therefore, we recommended that ECD should assess its methods of communication to help ensure it has the appropriate tools and approaches to communicate quality information to public-safety stakeholders, and as appropriate, make adjustments to its communications strategy. Should communications systems be damaged or overloaded due to a natural or man caused disaster, the City of Seattle calls on teams of amateur radio operators to help support the city with emergency communications. The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) offers a range of services and assistance to first responders to support interoperable communications systems and technologies. Additionally, amateur radio provides a connection with teams of citizens organized in their communities to provide a first line of emergency response to neighborhoods.

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