u08a1 Communication and Technology in Response Operations
This week your written assignment will evaluate communications, situations awareness, and the importance of technology in emergency operations. Communications at an emergency incident can make the difference between life and death. Effective communication can include: face-to-face, radio, telephone (cell or landlines), written messages, email, instant or text messaging, high-tech communication such as satellite, or even HAM radios, etc. Communication should be analyzed in terms of who (the source), what (the message), how (the channel or medium), to whom (the receiver), and for what intention (the effect). Advances in Technology continue to improve the accuracy and delivery of timely information to emergency response personnel and to the public during an incident. Information sharing and communication is a two-way process, meaning that there must be a sender and a receiver of information. Many communications that occur during an incident are potentially critical and therefore communications must be timely and accurate. Also, the volume of information that can be transmitted and communicated by government officials to the public and among emergency responders during a disaster can be overwhelming for responders. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken important steps to ensure that 911 services remain operational when disasters strike, especially since Katrina and 9/11.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (2009), there are three main components to emergency communications to communicate situational awareness and for the public to request and receive notifications and assistance:
1. 911 telephone call processing and delivery through Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) and call dispatch.
2. The Emergency Alert System.
3. Radio, broadcast, and television station news and updates.
All of these components must operate effectively in order to achieve a successful emergency communications operation (p. 1).
For this project, you act as the state coordinating officer, who is the senior emergency management officer of the state. You have been asked by the governor to brief county emergency managers on the importance of communicating and coordinating situation awareness during disaster operations to the state EOC and also to analyze the challenges to communication during a disaster. The governor believes that the emergency response community needs to become better informed about federal agencies’ strategic, policy, and operational capabilities for emergency communications and needs to better understand the challenges to communications in a disaster. The National Emergency Communications Plan (2008), as well as other resources, have been provided to you to use in this assignment.
Your 4 page paper must include the following:
1. Describe how the three main components (911 telephone call; The Emergency Alert System; radio, broadcast, and television stations) are part of the strategy to communicate situation awareness during disaster operations.
2. Briefly analyze how the media can improve pre-disaster and during a disaster communications to the public, such as communicating an evacuation or opening of shelters to the general public or special populations.
3. Analyze the three primary elements (operability, interoperability, and continuity of communications) of emergency communications, as stated in the National Emergency Communications Plan (2008) – (Hint: p. 2 of the plan.) Make sure that your analysis includes challenges to communicate and make decisions that emergency officials face during a disaster.
4. Evaluate how important the three primary elements (you answered in question 3) are in helping state and local emergency managers communicate during a disaster. Explain the importance of situational awareness during an emergency operation and how the emergency managers can use the media to provide situational awareness. Provide one or more examples of when the media has helped emergency management officials in communicating the pre-disaster or during a disaster situation to the public.
5. Analyze how technology can improve disaster response. Provide at least one example of new technology that has improved response operations, including notifying the public of an impending disaster.
Note: In your assignment, you may use your particular state(Alabama) or country where you live to provide context and examples for your paper.
Remember to use APA format, APA cited references, and double-spacing in your paper. Submit your paper in the assignment area.
Federal Communications Commission – Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau. (2009). Emergency Communications: FCC Consumer Facts. Retrieved from
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