IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit Provides New Resources for Emergency Alerts

FEMA, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), has released the “Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Planning Toolkit.” It will assist new and existing state, local, tribal and territorial alerting authorities to create and support 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, to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System, 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 alerting messaging. A result of that partnership is the IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit. It 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 to minimize alerting delays; plan for future alerts, warnings and notifications enhancements; facilitate interoperability across different technologies; and improve information sharing among emergency management and public safety officials. 

More information on IPAWS is available on the FEMA website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/practitioners/integrated-public-alert-warning-system.

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