FEMA developing contract for emergency communications

Agency issues RFI to collect information on communications solutions that can connect temporary field offices to headquarters and other FEMA facilities during an emergency.

FEMA wants to hire a contractor to support the communications needs of field offices that are set up to handle emergency situations.

Known as joint field offices, or JFOs, these entities act as a central location for coordination of federal, state and local emergency responders as well as tribal, non-governmental and private sector organizations.

“The ability of the JFOs to perform their essential functions depends on the availability and redundancy of critical communication systems,” FEMA writes in its request for information.

FEMA is conducting market research to support an enterprise-wide initiative to help the FEMA CIO acquire turn-key wireless communications services. The services will need to support voice, video and data.

The agency wants the JFOs to be able to connect into FEMA’s headquarters infrastructure, as well as to other FEMA facilities during an emergency incident. The current FEMA infrastructure is built on CISCO network, Avaya voice and Polycom video conferencing elements.

Responses to the RFI are due Oct. 4.