Verizon Business Supports FEMA Disaster Drill

ARLINGTON, Va., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Verizon Business today demonstrated its ability to provide security and communications solutions to public safety agencies under crisis conditions, in a mock disaster demonstration run by the Federal...


ARLINGTON, Va., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Verizon Business today demonstrated its ability to provide security and communications solutions to public safety agencies under crisis conditions, in a mock disaster demonstration run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Operating from one of its mobile communication command centers at the Women in the Military for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery here, Verizon Business provided smart credentials for identity credentialing of emergency response officials participating in three disaster scenarios, as well as state-of-the art voice and Internet connections.

FEMA's use of the smart credentials issued by Verizon Business and other vendors enables quick and easy electronic validation of identity credentials for emergency response officials during emergency situations. This approach lets FEMA ensure that only individuals who have their identity electronically validated and their "attributes" (skill sets) electronically authenticated can enter a designated area to perform specific tasks. For example, based on credentialing, a police officer would be authorized to enter a disaster zone with a weapon. It is crucial in emergencies that emergency response officials and other key personnel are quickly and accurately assessed and then directed to the appropriate zones.

The use of smart-card technology enables FEMA to comply with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, which was developed to satisfy the requirements of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), the presidential mandate establishing common identification requirements for federal employees and contractors. It includes the use of smart credentials for federal employees and contractors to gain access to the appropriate physical and logical systems.

"Because we never know when disaster will strike, preparation is key," said Kerry Bailey , vice president of Verizon Business Security Solutions. "During a disaster, it is critical that emergency response officials can access the scene swiftly, and immediately go to work. Verizon Business' credentialing service enables us to validate that the right folks are at the right place so they can deliver the right level of care and support."

Mobile Communication Command Center

Verizon Business' state-of-the-art mobile command center is equipped with individual telephone stations using wired voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) telephones, wireless IP telephones, and wired and wireless high-speed access for laptops. When the vehicle is deployed, users can make local, long-distance and international phone calls or access the Internet, via satellite technology, connecting to the Verizon Business global IP network.

These vehicles are available for use by Verizon customers -- including government, and large and small businesses -- for mobile communication use in both emergency and non-emergency situations. Among many other deployments, the vehicles have been used to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; in New York City following the September 11, 2001 , attacks; in Southern California during the 2003 and 2007 wildfires; and in Oklahoma City following the bombing of the federal building there in 1995. The vehicles have also been deployed to provide enhanced communications services to thousands of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq .

Verizon Business, one of the largest providers of communications services to the U.S. federal government, serves virtually every federal agency. Government agencies and enterprises rely on Verizon Business to help them manage security risk and protect critical company assets. Verizon Business Security Solutions offers a comprehensive portfolio of security services that include threat and vulnerability management; identity management; security and compliance programs; and security strategy and consultation. The more than 1,100 security professionals around the globe deliver these offerings through a range of managed services, professional services and products.

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