The Technical Communications Branch is responsible for the development and maintenance of warning and communication devices at 459 sites throughout the state and statewide coordination of emergency communications during times of disaster as the Emergency Support Function (ESF) 2 lead. The branch is also responsible for the maintenance and operation of the audio visual and phone system technology at the State of Ohio Emergency Operations Center.
The branch maintains three deployable MARCS radio caches for temporary assignment to support disaster response and planned events. Additional deployable cache radios can be coordinated through the Ohio MARCS Office.
The branch also maintains a deployable mobile communications tower intended to supplement interoperable communications during large scale events or replace communications infrastructure that is damaged or destroyed during a disaster.
Ohio EMA serves as the state alerts and warnings coordinator for the Integrated Public Alerts and Warnings System (IPAWS). IPAWS is FEMA's national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System, and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Radio.
Since May of 1994, the State of Ohio Rain Monitoring System (STORMS) has been providing critical life-safety information for the residents of Ohio. The STORMS rain gauges along with City of Columbus rain gauges provide comprehensive rainfall readings to the Wilmington National Weather Service Office. These readings supplement radar data predictions to provide observed rainfall totals used to determine ground saturation and flash flood guidance.
NOAA Weather Radio
Ohio EMA is contracted to maintain 17 of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) warning system transmitters around the state. The NWR system has the capability to reach 97 percent of the population.
Ohio EMA serves as the State of Ohio Administrator for the Communications Asset Survey and Mapping (CASM) database. Duties of the CASM Administrator include: assisting Ohio users with account setup and access issues; conducting training sessions for the proper use and classification of assets with in CASM.