Amateur Radio Included in FEMA Guide for National Emergency Preparedness
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released a final version (March 2023) of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Functional Guidance. The guidance, which provides a framework for communications resources within incident management, officially includes support from amateur radio operators. The expanded Communications Unit (COMU) structure now includes the Auxiliary Communicator (AUXC) role, which covers personnel from services that provide communications support to emergency management, public safety, and other government agencies. This includes amateur radio.
NIMS guides government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to work together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies. “This is a major step in the recognition of the need and usefulness of amateur radio and other communications services in our national preparedness,” said Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, Director of Emergency Management for ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®. “It also gives official guidance to pave the way for future training and education of volunteers in ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®),” Johnston added.
The NIMS ICT guide (PDF) is available at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_ict-functional-guidance.pdf.