(Staff Sgt. Matthew Wisher/39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs)

CISA Updates Nation’s ‘Blueprint’ for Emergency Communications Capabilities

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an update to the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP). The NECP is the nation’s strategic plan for coordinating and advancing emergency communications to establish and maintain operability, interoperability, and continuity.

CISA worked with over 3,500 stakeholders from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial public safety agencies, government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector over the past two years to develop the updated NECP.

“The update to the NECP is the blueprint for designing and improving the nation’s emergency communications capabilities at all levels of government,” said CISA Director Christopher Krebs. “For the safety of our first responders, it is imperative that we continue to partner with the public safety community in identifying strategies which improve their ability to communicate in real time for command and control at the scene of an emergency.”

The NECP establishes a clear national vision, “to enable the Nation’s emergency response community to communicate and share information securely across communications technologies in real time, including all levels of government, jurisdictions, disciplines, organizations, and citizens impacted by any threats or hazards event.” Key updates to the NECP include the addition of a cybersecurity goal, an emphasis on formal and flexible governance, and a focus on integrating new technologies.

John Miller, NCSWIC Chair, said, “The NECP has been refreshed to reflect current emergency communications needs and new technologies, but it also reemphasizes key points and remaining gaps we must close such as the necessity to maintain and upgrade legacy systems and the objective of having a dedicated Statewide Interoperability Coordinator in each state.”

CISA will continue to work with the emergency response community, including government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector, to implement the NECP and ensure emergency responders and other entities that share information can communicate effectively under all emergency situations.

“This truly is a plan developed by the public safety community for the public safety community,” noted SAFECOM Chair Gerald Reardon. “As we collectively move toward implementing its objectives, we will be a more prepared Nation.”

A copy of the updated NECP is available for download at: https://www.cisa.gov/necp

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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