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New National Public Health Radio Network

Jan 19, 2011

The NPHRN will provide CDC, state, territorial, and local health departments with non-infrastructure dependent redundant communications capability – a "back up" method of communication when all else fails.

National Public Health Radio Network logoThe National Public Health Radio Network (NPHRN) is a collaborative initiative between CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) and the Division of Emergency Operations (DEO). In summary, the NPHRN will provide CDC, state, territorial, and local health departments with non-infrastructure dependent redundant communications capability – a "back up" method of communication when all else fails. Utilizing specific frequencies within the High Frequency (HF) spectrum, the NPHRN provides CDC and the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Pacific Island Jurisdictions (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia), and the localities of Chicago, Los Angeles County, New York City, and Washington, D.C. with a wireless redundant communications capacity. When participating in the NPHRN, CDC and public health partners will have the capability to transmit and receive vital information in the event that traditional infrastructure dependent communication media (telephone, internet, cellular) are damaged, overloaded, or destroyed thus preventing effective and reliable communication. Specifically, the NPHRN will permit CDC and state, territorial, local public health departments to;

  1. Provide back-up/redundant communications capacity with state and Federal agencies and a wide range of other responders during an emergency;
  2. Ensure reliable long haul two-way communications in times of crises
  3. Provide additional methods to gather event intelligence and situational awareness
  4. Enable public health stakeholders access to redundant/secure wireless communications with public health partners/state, local EOCs, Law Enforcement and other first responders;
  5. Enable public health partners to participate in National, State and Local Disaster Coordination;
  6. Provision existing Non-Infrastructure Dependent Communications Assets in use by Federal/State/Local Agencies.
  7. Enable CDC and partners to provide assistance to and receive assistance from other radio networks – FEMA's NECN, NCS "SHARES" Network, State/local partners (state/local EOCs, First Responders, National Guard), federal agencies, and NGOs (Amateur Radio, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc…);
  8. Allow communications on reserved frequencies for CDC and state/local health authorities.
  9. Enable CDC and partners to participate in regular practice exercises with Federal/State/Local Agencies/NGOs.

Upon the installation of the standards compliant radios, CDC will issue the specific grantee a "Federal Call Sign" that will permit the grantee to operate within NPHRN.

Because of possible antenna and/or space restrictions, HF radio stations can be fixed, mobile, and/or portable. The preference is a fixed station.

In order to participate in the NPHRN, all HF radios must be NTIA compliant and certified with:

  • Military Standard 188
  • NATO – STANAG 5066

Additional Information

For additional information on these standards and for a listing of compliant HF radios, please visit:

While planning the acquisition and installation of your HF radio, we recommend reviewing the following websites:

CDC Point of Contact:
Michael L. Sapp
Manager, National Public Health Radio Network (NPHRN)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response  (OPHPR)
Division of Emergency Operations (DEO)
1600 Clifton Road NE
MS D-75
Atlanta, GA 30333
404-553-7790 Office
MSapp@cdc.gov