Today, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) kicks off the second annual Emergency Communications Month to honor emergency communications professionals and highlight the critical role that emergency communications plays in keeping us connected during a disaster.
In an emergency, wireless and wireline communications can be degraded or overwhelmed, but those on the frontline cannot let that get in the way of their timely and effective response. That’s why this April CISA is encouraging all emergency communications partners to “Get Connected and Stay Connected” by enrolling in the agency’s free priority telecommunications services.
“As the nation’s cyber defense agency and the national coordinator for infrastructure security, CISA’s mission includes ensuring interoperable, secure, and resilient emergency communications for the nation,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “This April, our second-ever Emergency Communications month, we are not only honoring our emergency communications partners across the nation but encouraging them to sign up for our priority telecommunications services. We want to ensure that together we are focusing on how they can integrate the next generation of emergency communications systems to keep our nation and the systems it depends safe.”
All through April, CISA invites the nation to celebrate the people who operate the systems we rely on and learn more about the vital role of emergency communications. Additionally, throughout April, we are encouraging our emergency communications partners to enroll in free priority telecommunications services (PTS) like Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) and Wireless Priority Service (WPS) so they can maintain communications during crises. These services are critically important as they allow for communication with priority capability when networks are degraded or congested and allow for the exchange of information when it’s needed most, when lives are on the line.
GETS covers wireline communications and WPS covers wireless communications. Anyone with a national security and emergency preparedness function is eligible to enroll. Additionally, Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) covers repair and installation of critical voice and data circuits or IP-based services.
CISA also offers Tribal Emergency Communications Team (TECT) to help sovereign Native American and Alaska Native tribes “Get connected and Stay Connected” by providing direct and equal access to CISA technical assistance, priority communications services, grant funding, and other programs to facilitate to achieve or enhance effective operable and interoperable communications.
Through its emergency communications mission, CISA leads the nation’s operable and interoperable public safety and national security and emergency preparedness communications efforts. This includes addressing challenges like adopting and using new technology which opens the doors to vulnerabilities like cyber threats. This mission has only grown in importance since it was established in 2007 in response to the communications challenges faced during 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. CISA provides resources to support our government and industry partners to help them build up and strengthen their emergency communications capabilities.
CISA’s Priority Telecommunications Service Center assists with the enrollment process and can be reached by phone at 866-627-2255 or by email at [email protected]. To learn more about Emergency Communications Month and how to amplify our resources, visit cisa.gov/emergency-communications-month. To learn more about who is eligible and how to enroll in priority services, visit cisa.gov/resources-tools/programs/priority-telecommunications-services.