AWARE Forum is on hiatus

On July 8, 2013, in General, by with SRA International

Regular readers of AWARE have probably noticed the site has not been updated as frequently in recent weeks. The truth is we’ve stretched ourselves thin in keeping the site fresh and at the same time determining where we can take AWARE going forward so that it continues to be a source of news and insights for you. So while we regroup on the future of AWARE, we are going to take a hiatus from posting new content on the site.

We will still be active on Twitter (@AWAREforum), and you can always get in touch with us via the Contact page.

Our founding purpose with this site back in 2010 was to produce thought-provoking articles and share insights on important news stories regarding alerts and warnings for the public safety community. We are proud of the resource that this site has become for you, particularly during such a critical time for alerts and warnings, with the first national test of EAS and the rollout of CMAS/WEA. We look forward to continuing to be a source of news and analysis.

- The AWARE Team


Emergency Public Information: Time for a National Discussion

On May 9, 2013, in Emergency Alert System, by with Remote Possibilities / Broadcast Warning Working Group

Initial feedback from the Greater Boston area was that no Shelter-In-Place (SPW) warnings were issued using EAS. We do know that social media and illuminated road signs and other means were used to get the word out, so why not EAS? We also know an SPW went out to cell phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), as noted here on AWARE.

If these early reports are verified, this is clear case when all possible warning systems, including the EAS, should have been employed to warn the Greater Boston public to Shelter-In-Place. The timing of the event should have led to a regional and event-specific EAS SPW that would have asked commuters outside the city to not drive or commute into the affected area. Continue reading »

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We’ve been remiss in posting new articles lately, but we could not let too much time pass without commenting on the use of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system in Boston in the days after the marathon bombing. As our friend Rick Wimberly discusses on the Alerts and Notifications blog, Massachusetts state officials sent a WEA message as one way of notifying residents of Boston and its suburbs to shelter in place during the manhunt for the suspects. Continue reading »

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FCC Bureau Issues Nationwide EAS Test Report

On April 15, 2013, in News, by with SRA International

EAS Logo - image by San Diego Emergency Alert System

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) has finally released a report on the November, 2011 national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), entitled, “Strengthening the EAS: Lessons Learned from the Nationwide EAS Test”.  While the report doesn’t reveal any great revelations on the test results that weren’t already generally known, the more important content is the action that PSHSB recommends the Commission take to improve the EAS. Continue reading »


Lets Talk Tools

On March 26, 2013, in Social Media, by with Altus Emergency Management

SMEMBack in the early days of social media in emergency management (SMEM), early adopters adapted based on their favorite tools. Then the tool ended, e.g., Timely.IS. Then the scramblers, especially those who lacked a plan for social media engagement, raced to find a new tool to replace the old tool.  Even others developed multiple “favorite” tools to do multiple jobs.

Is it over? No. People still are looking for tools and new tools are being developed to help with new platforms of social media.

Looking at tools today may be necessary, but only after one develops the need for using social media. This article focuses on tools that can foster and forge team building and communication. Continue reading »

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