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ESF 2: Communications and Technology

Approval and Implementation

Dallas County Community College District - Emergency Support Function #2 – Communications and Technology Annex

This Emergency Operations Plan Annex is hereby approved for the Dallas County Community College District. This plan annex is effective immediately and supersedes all previous editions.

Emergency Support Function 2 – Communications and Technology

ESF Coordinator

Assoc. Dist. Dir. I.T./Network Services
4343 IH 30
Mesquite, TX 75150
Phone: 972-860-8939

Support and External Agencies

DCCCD Public Safety & Security Department
1601 South Lamar St.
Dallas, TX 75215
Phone: 214-378-1624

Primary Department/Agency

Shared Infrastructure Services & IT Communications
4343 IH 30
Mesquite, TX 75150
Phone: 972-860-8939

Authority

See Emergency Operations Plan, Authority.

Introduction

The Emergency Support Function (ESF) annexes to the Emergency Operations Plan organize the applicable college District positions, departments, and outside support agencies into groups according to their roles in strategic response to a campus emergency or disaster. Outside agencies may include: governmental, non-governmental, private sector, and other volunteer resources. The ESF annex provides basic information on available internal and external departments and agencies that might be needed for an incident that affects Dallas County Community College District. Each ESF has at least one lead position or department within the District that will lead the specific response, one or more supporting departments within the District that will provide response support, and one or more external supporting departments from the surrounding communities of Gainesville, Corinth, Bowie, Graham, Flower Mound, Cooke County, Denton County, Montague County, Young County, and neighboring jurisdictions.

ESFs will normally be activated at the direction of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Manager in response to activation level 3 or greater emergencies as outlined in the EOP. Designated department and agency resources may be requested to respond or recover from emergency incidents that affect the District.  Normally, the response and recovery actions will be coordinated from the EOC as Incident or Unified Command will use the resources at the incident scene.

The primary position/department/office(s) will normally be responsible for coordinating specific requirements associated with the emergency support function. Support position/department/office(s) may be contacted to provide expertise and assistance, as needed. Finally, external departments/agencies may be needed if internal resources are overwhelmed or where District capabilities do not exist (such as emergency medical or fire services.)  In all cases, prior memorandums of understanding, mutual aid agreements, or funding issues would need to be addressed prior to requesting assistance.

Purpose

The purpose of ESF 2 is to maintain communication and technology systems to ensure operations and instructional continuity, as well as support public safety in normal operating conditions and emergency situations.

Scope

Emergency Support Function 2:

  • Works to ensure accurate and efficient transmission of information during an incident.
  • Coordinates communication activities and resources during the response phase immediately following an emergency or disaster.
  • Facilitates damage assessments of communications infrastructure to establish priorities and determine needs of available communication resources.
  • May be activated to respond to incidents that overwhelm normal Incident Command response actions.

Situation

Dallas County Community College District is exposed to many hazards, all of which have the potential for disrupting the community, causing casualties, and damaging or destroying public or private property. Potential emergencies and disasters include both natural and human-caused incidents.

See the EOP Hazard Summary for the potential emergencies that may impact the District.

Assumptions

The District makes the following planning assumptions:

  • District resources will be quickly overwhelmed.
  • Communication systems may fail during a major incident.
  • Backup systems will be available, but may take time to activate.
  • Shortfalls can be expected in both support personnel and equipment.
  • Local, state, and federal assistance may not be immediately available.

Concept of Operations

General

A common operating procedure within the District and across local jurisdictions provides the framework for communications capabilities. Interoperable systems make this framework possible. Extensive communications networks and facilities are in existence throughout the college District and the cities in which District properties lie to provide coordinated capabilities for the most effective and efficient warning, response, and recovery activities. When these capabilities are properly coordinated, response activities become more effective and efficient.

  • The Emergency Operations Plan provides overall guidance for emergency planning.
  • ESF annexes are designed to provide general guidance and basic information to include points of contact in case additional resources or expertise is needed at the EOC or incident scene.

Organization

  • National Incident Management System concepts will be used for all incidents.
  • Incident or Unified Command will be used by responding departments and agencies.
  • When requested, ESF personnel will report to the EOC and utilize the EOP, its annexes, and other SOPs to activate and operate during an incident or event.

Activation

  • If ESF 2 requires activation, the EOC Director or his/her staff will contact the departments or agencies listed in this annex to report to the EOC.
  • The District emergency notification system may be utilized for the notification and recall of groups needed for the function of the ESF.

Direction and Control

  • The Incident Command System (ICS) is used by District personnel to respond to emergencies and disasters.  During the emergency response phase, all responders will report to the designated Incident Commander (IC) at the Incident Command Post (ICP).
  • The ESF shall not self-deploy to the incident scene. Wait to be contacted or try to contact the Emergency Operations Center for guidance and direction.
  • Do not call any emergency dispatch or public safety answering point unless you have an emergency or critical information to report.

Emergency Support Function Operations

The emergency support function will primarily take action in the following phases:

  • Preparedness
    • Review and update this annex.
    • Participate in any exercises, as appropriate.
    • Conduct periodic communications and technology needs assessments.
    • Develop and maintain a list of possible resources that could be requested in an emergency.
    • Prepare and maintain technology resources necessary to operate the EOC.
    • Maintain a list of personnel (at least one primary and one back up individual) that can be called to the EOC, as needed.
    • Develop procedures to document costs for any potential reimbursement.
  • Response
    • When requested by the EOC Director, immediately respond to EOC.
    • Identify communications and technology needs required to respond to the emergency.
    • Obtain, prioritize, and allocate available communications and technology resources.
    • Initiate or support the warning procedures as outlined in the Warning support annex through the EOC.
    • Assist as needed with emergency information for public release through EOC Director and ESF 15, External Affairs (PIO).
  • Recovery
    • Coordinate communications and technology assistance as needed by the IC, EOC Director, or EOC Policy Group, as appropriate.
    • Ensure that ESF 2 team members or their agencies maintain appropriate records of costs incurred during the event.

Responsibilities

ESF Coordinator

  • Develop, maintain, and coordinate the planning and operational functions of the ESF Annex through the ESF primary agency.
  • Maintain working inter-local agreements, or other functional contracts to bolster the ESF capability.

ESF Primary Agency

  • Serves as the lead agency for ESF 2, supporting the response and recovery operations after activation of the EOC.
  • Develop, maintain, and update plans and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for use during an emergency.
  • Identify, train, and assign personnel to staff ESF 2 when District EOC is activated.
  • At a minimum, the National Incident Management System ICS-100 and IS-700 on line classes should be completed by assigned personnel. Additional training requirements may found in the Training, Testing, and Exercise support annex, published under a separate cover.
  • The primary agency of ESF 2 will assist in the identification of essential communications needs for initiating warning, communication among response agencies, and communicating with external entities during an emergency or disaster.

ESF Support and External Agencies

  • Support the District with inter-local agreements, mutual aid agreements (MAAs), or other functional contracts.
  • May need to provide additional modes of communications during emergencies.
  • Support the primary agency as needed.

Infrastructure

The existing communications and technology network at Dallas County Community College District serves to perform the communications efforts for emergency operations comprised of:

  • Internet protocol (IP) telephone systems.
  • E-mail.
  • Internet connectivity.
  • Emergency notification system branded by the District as DCCCD Alerts, which allows text messaging via electronic devices, emails, and integration through multiple systems. The DCCCD Alerts emergency notification system is detailed in the Warning support annex, published under a separate cover.

Landline circuits integrated into distributed IP phone and analog phone systems for each District campus serve as the primary means of communication with other communication systems as a backup. Secondary resources may be cell phones and other electronic devices.
During emergency operations, all departments should maintain their existing equipment and procedures for communicating with their field units. Departments should keep the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) informed of their operations and status at all times.
To meet the increased communications needs created by an emergency, various state and regional agencies, amateur radio operators, and other organization’s radio systems may be asked to supplement communications capabilities. These resource capabilities are requested through the local municipalities, mutual aid agreements, or the State of Texas.

Technological resources related to servers, workstations, digital displays, and other required resources for all phases of emergency management are to be maintained by the primary department identified in this ESF.

Terms and References

Acronymns

DCCCDDallas County Community College District
EOCEmergency Operations or Operating Center
ESFEmergency Support Function
ICIncident Commander
ICPIncident Command Post
ICSIncident Command System
IPInternet Protocol
MAAMutual Aid Agreement
MOUMemorandum of Understanding
SOPsStandard Operating Procedures

Definitions

Emergency Operations CenterSpecially equipped facilities from which government officials exercise direction and control and coordinate necessary resources in an emergency situation.
Inter-local agreementsArrangements between governments or organizations, either public or private, for reciprocal aid and assistance during emergency situations where the resources of a single jurisdiction or organization are insufficient or inappropriate for the tasks that must be performed to control the situation. Commonly referred to as mutual aid agreements (MAAs) and can include memorandums of understanding (MOUs).
Standard Operating ProceduresApproved methods for accomplishing a task or set of tasks. SOPs are typically prepared at the department or agency level. May also be referred to as Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs).