FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Open Platform for Emergency Networks (OPEN) has been making great strides of late with improvements for all IPAWS Collaborative Operating Group (COG) users. Previewed in a webinar today were the features of the latest IPAWS-OPEN release, v3.04. Also highlighted was the availability for state and local alert originators and IPAWS-OPEN developers to make use of the facilities of the FEMA IPAWS Laboratory at the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Maryland as a platform to test their systems and alerting capabilities in an environment similar to IPAWS without causing test alerts to circulate in the actual IPAWS network.

The FEMA test laboratory at the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) – photo courtesy of FEMA

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Update on IPAWS and CMAS Usage

On November 16, 2012, in CAP, CMAS & Mobile Alerts, IPAWS, by with SRA International

In a mid-November FEMA webinar, the alert and warning community received an update on the extensive use of the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) by the National Weather Service (NWS) over the last several months and an encouraging report from FEMA on the growing number of alert originators and alert origination service developers that continue to request connection to FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

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In a recent webinar, improvements to FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System – Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) were announced. This is the portal that alert originators use for entering messages into IPAWS, and FEMA is making it easier for them with some new features that will take effect in September with the deployment of OPEN v3.02.

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EAS-CAP: Dawn of a New Era

On June 29, 2012, in CAP, Emergency Alert System, IPAWS, by with SRA International

Tomorrow, June 30, 2012, is the official FCC deadline when broadcasters and cable operators must have equipment installed to receive EAS alerts in the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) format and must be monitoring for CAP alerts from FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). So how are we doing?

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NWS Now Sending CMAS Alerts

On June 28, 2012, in Alerts & Warnings 101, CAP, CMAS & Mobile Alerts, IPAWS, by with SRA International

The National Weather Service (NWS) today met its target to start sending alerts over the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) by the end of this month, as reported earlier on AWARE. Today at 2:00PM EDT, FEMA enabled the NWS channel on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) which will now send weather alerts to all CMAS-enabled mobile devices in areas affected by a major weather event. NWS posted the following statement on its homepage:

…FEMA to Activate Wireless Emergency Alerts for the NWS Today…
Published: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:39:29 EDT
Beginning this afternoon, the most critical NWS warnings will be triggering Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on WEA-capable phones. NWS produced Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) messages are pushed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). These messages are formatted to trigger a WEA broadcast for the following types of NWS warnings.
Tsunami Warnings
Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings
Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings

NEWS FLASH UPDATE: We have our first NWS CMAS alert…
This afternoon, June 28, NWS issued a Flash Flood Warning in the Los Alamos, New Mexico area near Santa Fe. This alert would have triggered CMAS on any carriers in that area that transmit CMAS alerts. Did you get the alert? Tweet us: @awareforum

To find out if your mobile device is CMAS-enabled, check out the carrier-specific page links on the left side of the page at: www.ctia.org/wea/

For more information from NWS on CMAS alerts, also known as Wireless Emengency Alerts (WEA), see: www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/wea.html

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