The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is seeking feedback on proposed updates to the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) after being informed from 2018 baseline assessment results. The NECP is a plan that “provides guidance to those that plan for, coordinate, invest in, and use communications to support response and recovery operations.”
Congress mandates that CISA conducts a baseline assessment every five years and to update periodically. The last update was completed in 2014. Over the next five years, CISA will focus on implementing six goals that build on updates to the 2008 and 2014 plans. The goals include:
- Developing and maintaining effective emergency communications governance and leadership across the ecosystem;
- Developing and updating comprehensive emergency communications plans and procedures that address the evolution of risks, capabilities, and technologies across the ecosystem;
- Developing and delivering training, exercise, and evaluation programs that target gaps in all available emergency communications technologies;
- Improving effective coordination of available operable and interoperable public safety communications capabilities for incidents and planned events;
- Improving lifecycle management of the systems and equipment that enable emergency responders and public safety officials to share information efficiently and securely
- Strengthening the cybersecurity posture of the Emergency Communications ecosystem.
“Proposed updates reflect the expanding ecosystem of people, technologies, and functions involved in supporting emergency communications to aid public safety entities with addressing today’s challenges while also planning for future advancements,” the feedback request states.
The NECP includes traditional emergency responder disciplines including law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, and dispatch. Among other more non-traditional entities include medical facilities, utilities, nongovernmental organizations, media, and private citizens.
Feedback on the NECP form should be submitted by March 22, 2019.