Our served agencies are accustomed to utilizing direct (i.e. person-to-person) and virtually instantaneous communications to conduct their operations. These means of communication (e.g. the telephone, email with attachments, and instant messaging through a wide variety of platforms) depend upon extensive, and often fragile, infrastructure which can be disrupted during incidents ranging in scale from a localized fiber-optic cable cut to regional severe weather events.
As past FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, said in Ham Radio Now Emcomm Extra #8, when an incident occurs “they just want their email to work.”
Traditional public service (aka Emcomm) messaging often does not meet the expectations of today’s served agencies (our customers). Amateur Radio operators typically utilize indirect communication paths with paper forms for origination / delivery and transcription style transfer methods (e.g. voice or CW); this is not the direct style of communication preferred by our customers.