From State and local public-safety organizations still suffer from lack of interoperable radio and information systems to effectively manage response to a disaster, top public-safety officials told a House hearing addressing lessons learned from U.S. handling of the March 11 tsunami in Japan.

Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell, deputy director of the Oregon State Military Department and interim director of the state's Emergency Management Agency told the hearing that sheriffs in southern Oregon had difficulty communicating with adjoining jurisdictions, particularly across state lines to Crescent City, Calif.

To improve information exchange at the state and local levels, Caldwell said, Oregon would like to develop its own Northwest version of the Homeland Security Department's Virtual USA information sharing portal used by Idaho, Alaska, Oregon, Montana and Washington. Read the entire article here.