Washington, DC—The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hosted an Earthquake Communications Preparedness Forum on May 3, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The forum was held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, located at 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554.
Catastrophic natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes are large-scale emergencies that may affect substantial portions of the public and can have a significant impact on critical national infrastructure, including communications networks and services. This Forum will consider the preparations that should be made in advance of an earthquake and how to develop and implement national communications policies and emergency procedures to respond to an earthquake’s potential impact on communications networks and services. This Forum will highlight those practices that best prepare the public and the communications sector for a catastrophic earthquake.
Panel 1 (panelists noted below) will discuss what can be expected from a large-scale earthquake and preparations to respond to an event of this nature. Panel 2 (panelists noted below) will explore the national policies, provider services and response capabilities that ensure first responders and the public have access to essential communications services in the wake of large–scale disasters. In addition, FCC subject matter experts will discuss their observations of Japan’s response to its historic earthquake as it relates to emergency communications.
In addition, a representative of the Embassy of Japan and emergency officials familiar with Japanese efforts to restore communications services will discuss the impact of the recent earthquake in Japan on that country’s national communications infrastructure.
Masaru Fujino, Counselor, Embassy of Japan in the United States, will discuss the Japanese experience in the recent earthquake there. In addition, FCC experts will highlight the experience of Japanese officials in dealing with the loss and subsequent restoration of public communications networks and services.
The workshop will be open to the public; however, registration will be limited to the seating available. Those individuals who are interested in attending the forum may pre-register online at http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/event-registration.html . Those who pre-register will be asked to provide their name, title, organization affiliation, and contact information. Individuals may also contact Deandrea Wilson at Deandrea.Wilson@fcc.gov  or 202-418-0703 regarding pre-registration. The deadline for pre-registration is Friday, April 29, 2011.
Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live . The FCC’s web cast is free to the public and does not require pre-registration.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities are available upon request. Please include a description of the accommodation you will need. Individuals making such requests must include their contact information should FCC staff need to contact them for more information. Requests should be made as early as possible. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org  or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).
For additional information about the meeting, please contact Susan McLean by email: Susan.McLean@fcc.gov  or by phone: 202-418-7868.
9:00 AM –Welcome—James Arden Barnett, Jr., Rear Admiral, USNR (Ret.), Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), FCC
9:15 AM –Opening Remarks—Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
9:25 AM –The Japanese Experience—Masaru Fujino, Counselor, Embassy of Japan in the United States of America
9:55 AM –Panel One: Earthquake Preparedness: The recent large-scale earthquakes in Japan, Haiti and in other areas of the world have shown that advanced planning and preparation can lead to fewer deaths and minimize loss of property and damage to critical infrastructure. In several regions, the United States is vulnerable to earthquakes that could have a disastrous impact across large portions of the country, resulting in high casualties and destruction of or significant damage to the nation’s communications infrastructure. This panel will discuss the potential effects of a large-scale earthquake and preparations in the communications sector to respond to an event of this nature.
Moderator: Jeffery Goldthorp, Associate Bureau Chief for Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability, PSHSB, FCC
11:15 AM – Break
11:25 AM –Japan in Retrospect: The Federal government and the FCC have been proactive in extending assistance to Japan and Haiti during recent earthquakes. This presentation will highlight observations by FCC subject matter experts on the impact of the recent earthquake on the communications infrastructure of Japan and the extent to which prior preparations assisted in public warning and restoration of communications services.
11:45 AM– Panel Two: Communications Response to an Earthquake: The ability of the nation to respond to and recover from large scale disasters is dependent on many factors. This panel will discuss how national communications policies and emergency procedures should be developed and/or implemented to respond to the potential impact of a disaster on the national infrastructure. This will include discussion of considerations for the use of Federal assets and the ability of individual sectors within the communications industry to recover from large-scale damage and loss of facilities.
Moderator: Dr. William Lane, Chief Engineer & Chief, Operations and Emergency Management Division, PSHSB, FCC
1:00 PM – Conclusion