A Model Approach for Effective Emergency Telecommunication Architecture for Texas Border Cities
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Purpose: The Texas-Mexico border region is considered to be one of the most important borders in the world because of the land area it covers, the large amount of international trade that occurs as a result of NAFTA, and the high rates of legal and illegal immigration that can be observed at any given time. Because of these reasons, the Texas-Mexico border is vulnerable to man-made or natural disasters. And because disasters can occur anywhere and at anytime, communities along the Texas-Mexico border must be prepared to effectively respond to a cross-border man-made or natural disaster. Therefore, it is important to assess and enhance current emergency telecommunications for cities along the Texas-Mexico border in the event of a cross-border catastrophe. Method: The research examines and utilizes existing literature on the subject of emergency telecommunications to develop criteria for assessing and developing emergency telecommunication architecture for cross-border emergency response. The assessment focuses on public sector employees in cities along the Texas-Mexico border and their opinions concerning current cross-border emergency telecommunication infrastructure. Additionally, current local emergency management plans for cities along the Texas-Mexico border are examined as part of the assessment. Findings: The research findings suggest that effective emergency telecommunication infrastructure for cross-border emergency response is lacking along the Texas-Mexico border. The findings specifically address deficiencies in the areas of interoperability, survivability, security, and international connectivity, which are essential for effective cross-border emergency response and emergency response efforts in general.