DHS solicits proposals to repair and maintain the National Warning System

Published 16 August 2006

Qualified contractors are encouraged to offer descriptions of services and pricing within fifteen days.

DHS announced Monday that it was looking for proposals and possibly bids to maintain, repair, and refurbish the emergency telephone network which links the department to governors and emergency officials nationwide. Like much of the nation’s emergency response systems, the National Warning System, operated by FEMA at the Mount Weather Operations Center in Virginia, was developed in the 1950s with nuclear warfare — not hurricanes or biological attacks — in mind. Staffed twenty-four hours a day, and hardened against storms and attacks, it consists of sixty-one seperate telephone systems: one for each of the fifty states, one for each of the ten FEMA regions, and one overall control circuit. The government supplies the network signaling, while local telephone companies provide most of the 1,800 circuit links.

Although FEMA intends to negotiate with Communications Laboratories of Melbourne, Florida, to replace the equipment, the agency encourages other qualified contractors to offer descriptions of their services and pricing within fifteen days. The agency will decide whether to seek competitive bids for the project after those proposals are received.

-read more in this Washington Technology report; read the Federal Budget Office solicitation ; see also the Communications Lab web site