DHS Appropriations Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 109-295, 109 Cong., 2d Sess. (Oct. 4, 2006).
The Act directs the DHS to develop and periodically update the following:
|“||a National Emergency Communications Plan to provide recommendations regarding how the U.S. should (1) support and promote the ability of emergency response providers and relevant government officials to continue to communicate in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters; and (2) ensure, accelerate, and attain interoperable emergency communications nationwide.||”|
The Act mandated the reorganization of the DHS preparedness capabilities, and established several new organizational entities:
- The Emergency Communications Preparedness Center will serve as the focal point for interagency efforts and as a clearinghouse to support and promote emergency response provider communications and interoperable emergency communications;
- Regional Emergency Communications Coordination (RECC) Working Groups will assess the sustainability and interoperability of local emergency communications; and
- A new Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) will have broad responsibilities for emergency communications and interoperability, including developing and maintaining the NECP.
- Under The Act's subtitle addressing emergency communications, 21st-Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006, the Office of Emergency Communications is established with several responsibilities, including SAFECOM (a communications program of the DHS's Office for Interoperability and Compatibility) and program administration roles within the Integrated Wireless Network; promoting interoperable emergency communications, requirements and standards; coordinating the NCS; developing best practices and standard operating procedure; information sharing; emergency communications plan reviews; and developing and maintaining the NECP.