Earthquake Communications Preparedness Forum

Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
May 3, 2011
For updated agenda:

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.

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 Those who pre-register will be asked to provide their name, title, organization affiliation, and contact information. Individuals may also contact Deandrea Wilson at [email protected] or 202-418-0703 regarding pre-registration. The deadline for pre-registration is Friday, April 29, 2011.


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


• David Applegate—Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards, United States Geological Survey (USGS)
• William Carwile—Associate Administrator, Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
• Paul Hogue—Assistant Executive Director, Central United States Earthquake Consortium
• Pete Simpson—Senior Vice-President, Trilogy Communications
• Karen Wong—Deputy Director, California Technology Agency, Public Safety Communications Office

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.


• Anita Dey—Senior Regional Specialist for Asia, International Bureau, FCC
• John Healy—Associate Division Chief, Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division (CCR), PSHSB, FCC
• James Miller—Senior Attorney Advisor, Electro-magnetic Compatibility Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC
• Zenji Nakazawa—Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, PSHSB, FCC

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


• Richard Reed—Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Continuity Policy
• Whit Adamson—President, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters
• Robert Desiato—Director, Network Disaster Recovery, AT&T
• Prem Ramaswami—Product Manager, Google
• Tim Woods—Manager, Tactical Operations Support, Cisco Systems, Inc.

1:00 PM – Conclusion