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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »