The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC), in coordination with SAFECOM Executive Committee and Emergency Response Council, develops the annual SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants (SAFECOM Guidance). The FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants (PDF, 58 pages – 1.45MB) was driven by stakeholder needs and input, and coordinated with Federal agency partners to provide guidance to grantees on:
- Emergency communications activities that can be funded through Federal grants
- Technical standards that facilitate interoperability
- Recommendations for planning, coordinating, and implementing emergency communications projects
OEC strives to ensure that grant guidelines across the federal government are consistent with the goals and recommendations in national plans, such as the National Emergency Communications Plan, and that projects support Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans. OEC also encourages the use of grant funds beyond purchasing equipment, to include establishing governance projects, developing standard operating procedures, and conducting training and exercises.
Grantees are strongly encouraged to use the FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance when preparing applications for funding to ensure projects are coordinated and compliant with Federal technical standards that promote interoperability.
Purpose of the FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance
The FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance stresses the need for continued investment in planning and coordination of emergency communications projects, including investment in the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), Statewide Interoperability Governing Body (SIGB), or Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) activities. Grantees are encouraged to coordinate with the SWIC, SIGB or SIEC to ensure projects support the statewide strategy to improve interoperable emergency communications. Grantees are also urged to support the National Preparedness System as described in Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8), which requires the engagement of the whole community in preparedness and response planning.
The FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance also provides information on the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). The FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance encourages grantees to invest primarily in planning activities that will help States prepare for the deployment of the NPSBN. At the same time, the FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance recognizes the need to sustain current land mobile radio (LMR) systems and advises grantees to continue developing plans and standard operating procedures, conducting training and exercises, and investing in standards-based equipment to sustain LMR capabilities.
In FY 2013, State and local stakeholders are encouraged to invest in activities that will strengthen emergency communications capabilities, and to target grant funding toward the following priorities:
- Priority 1: Leadership and Governance
- Priority 2: Statewide Planning for Emergency Communications
- Priority 3: Emergency Communications Training and Exercises
- Priority 4: Other Integral Emergency Communications Activities
- Priority 5: Standards-Based Equipment
Investments in these areas not only help to improve emergency response, but also align to Federal funding initiatives that can support emergency communications.
Grantees are encouraged to read the SAFECOM Guidance to gain knowledge and insight into federal grant policy for emergency communication grants. Any feedback or comments on the FY 2013 SAFECOM Guidance can be directed to OEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.