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FCC Encyclopedia

The Operations and Emergency Management Division, Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau

What We Do

Operations and Emergency Management Division (OEM) manages and leads the FCC's all hazards emergency preparedness and response activities.

How We Do It

OEM operates both the FCC Operations Center (FCC OC), and the FCC's High Frequency Direction Finding Center (HFDFC), a 24x7 operations watch and reporting center. OEM staff members are subject matter experts in a variety of technical disciplines and deploy to the field to provide assistance to FEMA, state, local, and tribal governments and the public safety community with disaster response and recovery of communications. OEM provides leadership and support for interagency working groups and intergovernmental coordination, and guides FCC Continuity of Operations, Continuity of Government, and Pandemic planning.

The division also is the lead point of contact for several inter-governmental coordination activities regarding National Security, including with:

  • Components of the Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)(e.g., the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the and the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC).

Disaster Response

The Importance of Communication in a Disaster
The FCC is home to a team of 36 volunteers who are on call 24/7 and may be deployed to provide expertise and assist with communications restoration. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 our team has been deployed to 15 natural disasters including fires, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.


OEM Operation Areas

  • Commission's Operations Center
    The PSHSB Operations Center provides 24-hour-a-day situational awareness and strategic assessments on trends for crisis scenarios that may have public safety, national security or emergency preparedness implications, and serves as the primary communications center for the FCC.
  • High Frequency Direction Finding Capability (HFDFC) facilities
    The High Frequency Direction Finding Capability Center (HFDFC) provides direct support to the public safety community and other federal partners by locating interference sources.

Tips for Communicating in an Emergency

Information about hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery.


Emergency Contacts

FCC 24/7 Operations Center
phone: 202-418-1122
email: FCCOPCenter@fcc.gov
Eric Panketh
Division Chief
phone: 202-418-0063
email: Eric.Panketh@fcc.gov
James Pierson
Associate Division Chief, Geolocation and Analysis
phone: 301-725-2041
email: James.Pierson@fcc.gov
Louis Sigalos
Communications Liason, FEMA Region 6
Phone: (281) 492-6288
Email: louissigalos@fcc.gov
Paul Coburn
Communications Liason, FEMA Region 4
Phone: (248) 459-1412
Email: paulcoburn@fcc.gov
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