Scott Bowman, acting deputy chief information officer at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told FedTech in an interview published Monday about the technologies FEMA employs to facilitate communications during disaster response efforts.
“Radio is the communication mechanism when we can’t use cellular. If we deploy to an area that doesn’t have readily available communications, we’ll use satellite communications. That’s kind of the last resort,” Bowman said.
He said FEMA continually tests technologies and trains staff with regard to the use of such platforms to accelerate responses when disasters strike. “We issue smartphones and laptops to our employees so that they are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.”
Bowman noted that FEMA uses smartphones and coordinated radio spectrum to communicate with local, state and federal officials and works to protect personal information and other sensitive data through mobile device management and use of firewall software and anti-malware platforms.
He said the agency is working to upgrade its data, voice and video infrastructure and network with plans to further advance cloud migration efforts.