End To End Disaster Communications

Thursday, February 8, 2007
Room 2325 Rayburn
3:00 to 5:30 PM

The Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance in cooperation with the Congressional Hazards Caucus will hold a briefing on Thursday, February 8, 2007, on "End to End Disaster Communications." The briefing will examine how a warning is triggered, how it is communicated from a warning center through the "last mile" of connectivity to local populations and discuss the role and needs of state emergency managers.

The briefing will feature an introduction by Congressman Jo Bonner on the importance of human communications, followed by a briefing and panel discussion. Speakers and panelists from NOAA, FEMA, USGS, the American Signal Corporation, RESPOND® Emergency Management Consortium and the Alabama State Emergency Manager will discuss communications before, during and after a hazardous event. 

Dr. David Green will provide an update on NOAA-National Weather Service communications to stakeholders. How is information about a tsunami, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster communicated from a warning center to state and local emergency agencies and responders? Mitch Auerbach will offer a model for providing 100 percent mass notification, that is, providing the "last mile" connectivity to a population in a targeted disaster zone. Bruce Baughman will describe the role of the state emergency managers in disaster mitigation and response and discuss what the states need in terms of communications.


Opening Remarks:

The Honorable Zoe Lofgren (California) and the Honorable Dennis Moore (Kansas)

The Honorable Jo Bonner (Alabama): The Importance of Human Communications and an Introduction to Alabama's State Emergency Manager, Bruce Baughman


Gene Whitney, Assistant Director for Environment, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


David Green, Ph.D., Tsunami Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Mitch Auerbach, REMCON Consortium Representative

Bruce Baughman, Alabama State Emergency Manager


David Green, Tsunami Program Manager, National Weather Service, NOAA

Kevin Briggs (invited), Readiness Division Director in Office of National Security Coordination, FEMA

David Applegate, Senior Science Advisor, Earthquakes and other Geologic Hazards, U.S. Geological Survey

Bruce Baughman, Alabama State Emergency Manager

David Bingenheimer and Christopher Roller, American Signal Corporation

Mitch Auerbach and other REMCON members

*The purpose of the panel discussion following the briefing is for Members of Congress, their staff and the public to ask questions of the panelists about process and/or technology involved in disaster mitigation and response. Stakeholders, Caucus members, Alliance organizations, federal agencies involved and congressional staff will be invited to attend and will have the opportunity to discuss issues, view exhibits from organizations and federal agencies and speak directly to communications experts.

Sponsors for the briefing include the following members of the Hazards Caucus Alliance: 

American Signal Corporation

American Society of Civil Engineers 

In cooperation with Senators Ben Nelson, Ted Stevens, and Mary Landrieu and Representatives Jo Bonner, Wayne Gilchrest, Dennis Moore and Zoe Lofgren, Co-chairs of the Congressional Hazards Caucus and the Congressional Hazards Caucus