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The Federal Communications Commission is charged with being the head of national communications, especially in times of crisis. They do a tremendous job managing the needs of millions.
During emergencies, the importance of our country’s communications systems becomes clear. These communications systems include the wireline and wireless telephone networks, broadcast and cable television, radio, Public Safety Land Mobile Radio, satellite systems and increasingly the Internet. For example, in an emergency, they may dial 911, call our family members to make sure they are safe, and turn on our televisions and radios to get breaking news and important updates. Although communications systems are among the world’s most extensive and dependable, unusual conditions can put a strain on them.
Since September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Communications Commission has taken important steps to ensure that 911 services and other critical communications remain operational when disasters strike. For example, in response to recommendations of an independent panel reviewing the impact of Hurricane Katrina, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) is working on several fronts to improve communications during emergencies, including streamlining collection of outage information during times of crisis through the Disaster Information Reporting System, helping ensure that communications workers receive “essential personnel” credentials during emergencies, working with other federal agencies to improve interoperability among first responders, and promoting use of enhanced 911 best practices.
Unfortunately, there are some times when the federal agencies are not able to assist for instance in countries where they do no have the infrastructure to sustain that. We need to be aware and extremely grateful for this and when an international crisis becomes evident, jump at the chance to get involved to help.