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Public Safety Communications Network Resiliency Self-Assessment Guidebook

Communication resiliency is an important aspect of an organization’s mission-critical operations.  Complete end-to-end network resilience is difficult to achieve, but an organization can greatly improve “always available” communications by identifying and mitigating resilience issues through a self-assessment of its local access network.  As such, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Emergency Communications Division (ECD) is pleased to announce the Public Safety Communications Network Resiliency Self-Assessment Guidebook, a comprehensive guide for government and public safety entities that: 

  • Offers instructions for how to assess resiliency of a public safety communications network  
  • Describes common critical resiliency gaps in public safety networks
  • Proposes mitigation solutions for assured communications in stressed network environments
  • Demonstrates a proven methodology for data gathering, connectivity mapping, and analysis

CISA ECD recommends use of the Guidebook for organizations performing resiliency self-assessments of their critical facilities. The Guidebook was approved by SAFECOM and National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) in July 2018.  It is the companion document to the Public Safety Communications Resiliency – 10 Keys to Obtaining a Resilient Local Access Network.  For an overview of both documents, please visit the Resiliency Fact Sheet.  CISA ECD has been performing resiliency assessments since 2002, and the Guidebook, “10 Keys”, and the Fact Sheet documents were developed by CISA ECD subject matter experts leveraging years of experience helping organizations increase resiliency.

Although the Guidebook focuses on the diversity component of public safety communications resiliency, CISA ECD has found that self-assessments often uncover physical, operational, and cyber risks not associated with routing.  In these instances, CISA ECD recommends that risks be documented and appropriate solutions identified, including those available via DHS’ wide array of mitigation tools and capabilities detailed in the Guidebook.   

For additional information on the Guidebook and other matters related to public safety communications resiliency, please contact CISA ECD at OEC@hq.dhs.gov.

SAFECOM & NCSWIC December 2018 Meetings

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency hosted the SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) meetings December 3-6, 2018, in Norman, Oklahoma. Over 150 SAFECOM, NCSWIC, and several federal partners participated, representing federal, state, local, and tribal public safety organizations.

ST-Digital Volunteer Program Guide Fact Sheet

When a disaster strikes and response systems become stressed, affected agencies can work with trusted volunteers to provide social media and digital surge support. To support agencies that are looking to launch and maximize the benefits of a digital volunteer program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) developed a Digital Volunteer Program Guide (Guide). The Guide provides step-by-step guidance on developing a digital volunteer program to comprehensively plan for and integrate digital volunteers into routine social media emergency management (SMEM) operations.

DHS S&T will be at APCO

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will attend the APCO 2018 Annual Conference and Expo August 5 – 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our program managers will showcase some of the latest technology helping public safety overcome cybersecurity threats and analyze large amounts of data. If you’ll be at the conference, stop by booth #1149 to meet with our experts, or attend one of our panel sessions.

News Release: S&T Partners with New Smart City Innovators

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and its research and development partners today selected 13 U.S. and international companies to develop smart cities technologies to assist public safety.

SLTT Governance Guide Working Group: Meeting 3

On May 3, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) hosted the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials Governance Guide Working Group in preparation for updating the Emergency Communications Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials (the Governance Guide). During the meeting, working group members began the process of conducting an in-depth review and revision process of the 2015 guide.

Release of FY 2018 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants

On behalf of the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC), I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year 2018 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants (SAFECOM Guidance).  This document is updated annually to provide current information on emergency communications policies, eligible costs, best practices, and technical standards for state, local, tribal, and territorial grantees investing federal funds in emergency communications projects.

OEC at IWCE: Day Five

The International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) is the leading event for communications technology, bringing over 7,000 industry professionals all in one place.  The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) is partnered with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Science and Technology (S&T) at Exhibit Hall this week in Booth #3345.  Additionally, on March 12, 2018, OEC is partnering with its public safety partners in two sessions.

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