Telecommunications

The Telecommunications Section manages, maintains and repairs Telecommunications, Information Technology, and Warning Systems located statewide and in the State Emergency Operations Center that support all functions and programs in Emergency Management. These systems include the Statewide Emergency Alert System, the Division's 12 microwave sites, Warning sirens and systems, National Warning Systems, Rapid Alert for Cascadia Earthquakes, two Private Branch Exchanges, 25 servers, 250 workstations, four statewide radio networks, satellite networks, mobile assets for disaster deployment, and other various systems to interface with other federal, state and local government systems.

This section also assists in the development and review of emergency management plans and procedures at all levels of government to maximize interoperability of emergency communication systems. Technical assistance visits are made to advise, maintain or repair telecommunications located at all local EOC and/or county facilities. Section staff host or participate on various committees of federal, state, local and private entities to enhance the telecommunications public safety posture of the State of Washington.

Telecommunications and warning systems provide early alert and critical information exchange paths before, during, and after a disaster. Rapid and reliable telecommunications systems are essential for warning the public and local governments of an impending emergency or disaster and for allowing emergency response personnel to communicate during an emergency or disaster to share information and coordinate response actions.

The Telecommunciations Section provides administrative management of WebEOC, an emergency information management software application hosted on EMD servers for the entire state. Fielded in November 2003, WebEOC has quickly become the defacto standard in the state.

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