Homeland Security’s 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan Incorporates Amateur Radio

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (DHS-OEC) has released the first updated National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) since the original publication in 2008. According to the Department, the DHS-OEC developed the NECP in cooperation with more than 150 public and private sector emergency communications officials.

Of interest to Amateur Radio Operators, is that in this 2014 updated NECP, the DHS has incorporated Amateur Radio in its mix of media that could support and sustain communications in a disaster or emergency. The publication is titled the “2014 National Emergency Communications Plan“, and a PDF of this plan may be obtained by clicking here.

Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now refers to Amateur Radio groups such as ARES, RACES, REACT and other EMCOMM organizations, by the terms “Auxiliary Communications (Service)” and/or “Auxiliary Emergency Communications”.

To assist what the DHS now calls Auxiliary Communications, the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) has released a publication titled the ‘Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG)’. On one of the Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program (ICTAP) own webpages, they describe the AUXFOG this way:
“The Auxiliary Communications Field Operations Guide (AUXFOG) is a new reference for auxiliary communicators who directly support backup emergency communications for State/local public safety entities or for an Amateur Radio organization supporting public safety.
This reference guide contains information about AuxComm best practices, frequently used radio frequencies, Mutual Aid channels as well as tips and suggestions about auxiliary emergency communicators integrating into a NIMS ICS environment to support communications for planned events or incidents. It can serve as a reference both for auxiliary emergency communicators and public safety communications professionals.”

While printed copies are not available from the DHS, or the ICTAP, you may download a electronic copy here: AUXFOG_21_November_2013. Please note the AUXFOG is in PDF format, and is about 3MB in size.