Radio Communications Vulnerability

The failure of radio communications between responders to an attack has both technical and policy dimensions.

Recommendation 8.4: In the near term, changes to equipment, training, and policies must be identified and introduced at the local level to immediately improve the interoperability, reliability, and clarity of radio communications used by EOCs and first responders in crisis situations.

Research and Development Priorities and Strategies

Vulnerability of EOC Sites and Facilities

Recommendation 8.5: Current EOC vulnerabilities, including those of existing locations and their technical systems (communications; data and video processing; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; site hardening; and other elements to be identified), must be assessed. Thereafter, federal, state, and local government agencies should cooperate in planning the needed improvements. These plans might include the determination that the only way to provide secure command, control, and communications capabilities is by rebuilding some of the facilities. The option of duplicate or mobile EOCs should be a part of this longer-term (3- to 5-year) examination.

FEMA should take the lead in these longer-term assessments as a continuation of its near-term assessments recommended earlier. Coordinating closely with local authorities, it should identify specific EOCs that require significant upgrading or replacement.

Intra- and Intergovernmental Operations

In the longer term, simulation models based on terrorist threat scenarios must be completed, field tested, authenticated, and deployed, along with corresponding training modules. Extensive coordination between city, state, and federal participants will be required to make this effort succeed. The simulation and training tools will bring the EOCs, along with supporting units in government, to higher levels of preparedness.

Recommendation 8.6: Research, development, and production of simulation models and corresponding training modules for EOCs is needed in order to improve terrorist-threat recognition, resource utilization and allocation, intergovernmental and intragovernmental operations, and public information management and media relations.

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