There are at least three challenges in this area: (1) equipment and technology, (2) availability and use of specified frequencies and standards, and (3) funding. Policy changes by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and suitable new standards would allow the United States to replicate the solutions now working in Europe, where a common frequency has been established in the best area of the broadcast spectrum for emergency-use radios (Mayer-Schonberger, 2002). Given the proper incentives, it is expected that the radio communications industry would willingly develop the needed technology, including repeaters, base stations, and mobile units. The federal government could expedite this progress by accelerating FCC changes and funding the implementation of the solutions, thus providing confidence that the strategy will be sustained. These critical improvements will occur only if the federal government assures that the new emergency communications units will be supported by policy and standards and will definitely become the required norm. This issue is also addressed in Chapter 5.
Recommendation 8.11: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must be urged to make policy changes and promulgate standards that would allow the United States to replicate solutions now working in Europe, where a common frequency has been established in the area of the broadcast spectrum that is best for emergency-use radios.
Recommendation 8.12: Focused development should be directed to prototype communications units that meet the requirements of the EOCs.
While the entire EOC program to improve communications should be under FEMA, the policy issues that have to be dealt with would engage FCC, the Congress, and perhaps DOJ. The OHS and the national laboratories should be involved in the development and testing of the technical solution, and industry should play a central role. The equipment development could effectively be done under a public–private partnership formula, and the resulting technology might be adapted by the radio-communications industry into an attractive commercial product line.
Federal funding should be made available to cities in order to expedite changeover to the prescribed communications systems.
The water system consists of four parts: (1) supply, (2) treatment, (3) distribution, and (4) sanitary removal. The supply system comprises reservoirs, dams, aquifers and wells, and the aqueducts and transmission pipelines that deliver