President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) Report to the President on Emergency Communications and Interoperability   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Communications among those responding to a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other large-scale emergency is the essential component to a successful response and recovery effort and, ultimately, in the ability of the Nation's emergency responders to save lives and property. To ensure a comprehensive preparation for and response to the widest range of crises and incidents, emergency responders must have operable and interoperable emergency communications systems. As evidenced by the communications shortcomings experienced during the September 11, 2001, attacks and Hurricane Katrina, the Nation still remains short of this goal. Interoperability challenges that were recognized during these crises included lack of interoperable equipment at the tactical level, ineffective use of available communications assets caused by poor resource planning, and an overall lack of integrated command structures to enable interoperability. In response to the issues highlighted during the Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma recovery efforts, the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) Principals recognized that the NSTAC should play a valuable role in addressing short-term critical issues in advance of the 2006 hurricane season and in supporting resolution of longer-term strategic issues. […] The NSTAC initially focused on short-term actions and issued a Letter to the President on Emergency Communications and Interoperability (The Letter) in March 2006, outlining emergency communications and interoperability issues and identifying immediately applicable actions to improve responder communications capabilities."

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National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC): http://www.ncs.gov/nstac/
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