Established in 2007 in response to communications challenges faced during the attacks on September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) supports and promotes communications used by emergency responders and government officials to keep America safe, secure, and resilient. The office leads the Nation’s operable and interoperable public safety and national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications efforts. OEC provides training, coordination, tools, and guidance to help its federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and industry partners develop their emergency communications capabilities. OEC’s programs and services coordinate emergency communications planning, preparation and evaluation, to ensure safer, better-prepared communities nationwide. Ron Hewitt serves as the Director of OEC and Chris Essid serves as the Deputy Director.
OEC supports emergency communications interoperability by offering training, tools, and workshops; regional support; and, providing guidance documents and templates. These services assist OEC’s stakeholders in ensuring they have communications during steady state and emergency operations. OEC plays a key role in ensuring federal, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies have the necessary plans, resources, and training needed to support operable and advanced interoperable emergency communications.
Planning and Preparedness Activities
OEC plays a key role in ensuring federal, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies have the necessary plans, resources, and training needed to support operable and advanced interoperable emergency communications.
OEC plays a role in supporting response efforts by ensuring that its stakeholders have the tools needed to communicate during steady state and emergency operations. OEC manages priority telecommunications programs that support emergency communications and restoration. Following response efforts, OEC works with its stakeholders and regional personnel to document best practices and lessons learned to promote improvements in emergency communications during future events.
Sign Up to Receive the Emergency Communications Forum
OEC’s Emergency Communications Forum provides quarterly updates on emergency communications policies, technology developments, local exercises, grant programs, and other items of interest for the NS/EP and emergency responder community. Please click here to sign up to receive the Emergency Communications Forum.
For additional information, please contact OEC at OEC@dhs.gov.