State Promotes AMBER Alert WEA Use

On March 21, 2013, in CMAS & Mobile Alerts, by with SRA International

As mentioned here on AWARE, changes were made in the past few months in the way abducted-child AMBER Alerts are delivered to cell phones and other mobile devices.  The previous Wireless AMBER Alert Program SMS-based alerts were replaced by the new Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.  With 700,000 people having been subscribed to the previous program, a huge awareness campaign is needed to advise the public of the switch to WEA.  At least one state has taken a very proactive approach on its outreach. Continue reading »

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Tips on Acquiring and Using FEMA IPAWS Alert Origination Systems

On February 21, 2013, in IPAWS, News, by with SRA International
The FEMA test laboratory at the Joint Interoperability Test Center (JITC) - photo courtesy of FEMA

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

FEMA recently held a webinar giving the latest details on its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), as well as tips for local alert originators on acquiring and using IPAWS alert origination systems.  The session also offered an update on the forthcoming alert originator test lab detailed in December here on AWARE. Continue reading »

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As we all know, the role of wireless services in Americans’ everyday lives have progressed over the years, resulting in a reliance on these services for critical information. This has especially had an impact on the alerts and warnings community and the need to expand the breadth of the alerts and warnings “toolbox” to include vehicles for communication that leverage wireless services and devices to receive timely information on the go, often when other resources may be unavailable. Tools such as the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS), also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), are helping to expand these wireless capabilities within the alerts and warnings community by helping consumers to receive emergency alerts through their wireless phones.

With this increased reliance on wireless services, especially in emergency situations, comes the importance of public-private partnerships between stakeholders in the alerts and warnings community. Continue reading »

The past few weeks have seen a number of Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) messages (also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA) for severe weather events. Usage of this new system is growing (New York City sent out its first CMAS message), and we wanted to get a quick pulse check on how the public is responding to this new capability. So, we went to Twitter.

CMAS screenshot - photo by Twitter user @Captain2Phones

CMAS screenshot – photo by Twitter user @Captain2Phones

Continue reading »

Back in January, we at AWARE compiled a list of resources provided by wireless carriers on the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS), including lists of CMAS-capable devices sold by each carrier. Since then, the rollout of CMAS (also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA) has begun, and, not surprisingly, participating carriers have provided more information to customers on the system, as well as updated lists of handsets that will be able to receive a CMAS message.

CTIA has published a helpful collection of information from several participating carriers. Below are links to each carrier’s page on CMAS/WEA, as well as a listing of available CMAS-compatible devices, if the carrier has published these. Continue reading »

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