FEMA, DHS S&T Release IPAWS Planning Kit
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | Comments

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), released the “Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Planning Toolkit.”

The document will assist new and existing state, local, tribal and territorial alerting authorities in creating and supporting an effective program for alerts, warnings and notifications.

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 (WEA), to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Radio.

FEMA has been working with DHS S&T to identify gaps in existing IPAWS alert messaging. The toolkit is a result of that partnership. The toolkit consists of three documents: the IPAWS Lab Fact Sheet, IPAWS Frequently Asked Questions, and the IPAWS Train the Trainer Guide.

The documents in the toolkit were produced based on recent innovative changes to technology and were derived from the collection of successful practices and lessons learned from hundreds of data points, including more than 100 emergency managers, public information officers, alerting originators and administrators, and alerting experts.

The toolkit will assist public-safety agencies in minimizing alerting delays; planning for future alerts, warnings and notifications enhancements; facilitating interoperability across different technologies; and improving information sharing among emergency management and public-safety officials.

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