The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) funds projects that help state and local response agencies share timely information about emergencies with each other and with the public. Our efforts include software, hardware, equipment, webinars and more. For additional information, email First.Responder@dhs.gov.
Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS)
NICS is a collaborative, online incident map with a virtual whiteboard that allows first responders to collaborate, pool resources and plot strategies to better synchronize emergency response efforts.
Portable Handset Integrated Next-Generation Incident Command System (PHINICS)
PHINICS, an initiative funded by the U.S. Coast Guard, examines how mobile devices can streamline data entry from the field, leading to a more complete, rapid and accurate common operating picture.
Social Media Working Group for Emergency Services and Disaster Management (SMWG)
The SWMG (formally VSMWG) provides recommendations to the emergency preparedness and response community on the safe and sustainable use of social media technologies before, during and after emergencies. For more information, visit the SWMG collaboration site on the First Responder Communities of Practice.
Virtual USA (vUSA)
The vUSA program demonstrates best practices for incident management information sharing across the first responder community. vUSA uses four guiding principles in its foundation: improving sharing and collaboration at all levels of government, building on existing investments, maintaining data rights and ownership and partnering to ensure resilience. Watch the Virtual USA video.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
WEA transmit geographically targeted emergency alert text messages to members of the general public via their WEA-enabled wireless mobile devices. S&T assesses technologies capable of accepting and aggregating alerts from alert originators and delivering validated, geographically targeted emergency alerts and warnings to the public, allowing them to respond. Watch the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Enabled Devices and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Localized Messages videos.
CAD to CAD
During a disaster, state and local first responders generate a lot of operational data which must be shared with other federal, state and local organizations. Due to different proprietary systems used by each group, there can be difficulty in sharing the information quickly. CAD to CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) addresses the interoperability between first responder systems and identifies the information sharing patterns within and across the Homeland Security Enterprise.