ADEM’s Communications Unit is responsible for the management and coordination of various voice and data communications systems and services in support of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), including its alternate fixed and mobile site facilities. In addition to land line telephone, cellular phone and satellite telephone services, the Division maintains a multi-band radio system with the capability of communicating with local, state, and federal agencies. The SEOC has communications capabilities in the HF, VHF, UHF bands including 800MHz and packet radio capability (digital data transmission). The SEOC has four communications consoles supported by the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS), and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).
The Division works closely with county emergency management centersand other state agencies on communications and interoperability projects to assure adequate communications capabilities between the county and State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs). The Division is working with the Public Safety Communications Committee (PSCC) and the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) to address interoperability issues and radio communications standards throughout the State, to ensure compatibility between local, state and federal jurisdictions.
The Communications Unit will:
- Develop and maintain primary, secondary and alternate communications systems for contact with local jurisdictions, other state agencies, interstate, and national and international agencies as required support an All Hazards emergency management program.
- Maintain liaison and coordinate with other state agencies, local jurisdictions, interstate, national and international agencies as required to prepare emergency communications operations plans.
- Assist other state agencies and local jurisdictions in coordinating and developing emergency communications improvements.
- Prepare, coordinate and promulgate comprehensive emergency communications plans in support of the State of Arizona Emergency Response Plans.
- Supervise planning and operating the State of Arizona Emergency Operations Communications Center.
Alert & Warning Systems
ADEM assists or participates in the operation of multiple alert and warning systems, including National Warning System (NAWAS), Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Siren System, and Palo Verde Notification and Alert Network (NAN), Emergency Alert System (EAS), and Communicator! NXT.
Amateur, or “ham” radio, plays an important role in emergency communications. During states of emergency or disaster, traditional telephone, cellular, radio or internet systems may become overloaded or damaged.
The Communications Unit operates stations with FEMA National Radio System (FNARS), Shared Resources (SHARES), and Army Military Affiliate Radio Service (MARS), to ensure federal-level interoperability.
Mobile operations and communications centers are forward-deployedthroughout Arizona to aid interoperability and provide working space for emergency responders.
The State Emergency Operations Center, the Joint Information Center, the AZ211 Call Center, and staff phone lines are all serviced by the Communications Unit. Backup satellite phones and phone line priority services are also administered by ADEM.
The Communications Unit uses radio systems to communicate with mobile units, county emergency operations centers, other state agencies, and first responders.
COMMUNICATIONS, ALERT AND NOTIFICATION PLAN
For additional information on any of these programs, contact us for assistance.