Enhancing Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Restoration

Best Practices to Help Local Governments Maintain Wireless Service During Natural Disasters

The wireless industry strives to meet Americans’ wireless communications needs – including during emergencies or disasters when communications can be most important. Effective initiatives for wireless network resiliency and recovery require coordination among key stakeholders – including wireless providers, federal, state, and local government representatives, public safety, and consumers.

To further these efforts, leading wireless providers and CTIA established the Wireless Network Resiliency Cooperative Framework (Framework) to enhance voluntary coordination and information sharing during and after emergencies and disasters.

As part of the Framework, representatives from the wireless industry and local government public safety convened to develop best practices to aid voluntary coordination efforts between wireless providers and local governments. The drafters recognize individual coordination efforts will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the scope of the emergency or disaster, the nature of service providers’ networks, the individualized circumstances involving local authority to perform the coordination activities, and the resources available to the parties.

Rather than rigid directives, these best practices are designed to serve as flexible tools service providers and local governments can utilize to coordinate joint efforts to maintain service continuity, promote resiliency efforts, and expedite restoration activities during and after an emergency or disaster. Stakeholders identified best practices in three categories:

  1. planning before disasters and emergencies occur;
  2. facilitating coordination during and after emergencies and disasters; and
  3. creating education awareness campaigns.
Last Updated December 2017