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Volume 32, Issue 1

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Friday, 08 February 2019 14:58

Why People Near Baltimore County Might Have Gotten an Emergency Alert

(TNS) - Have you ever seen an emergency alert on your phone or heard a radio program interrupted by a harsh tone followed by a warning?

Here’s what you need to know about emergency alerts and the authorities behind them:

What are emergency alerts?

Whenever there’s a serious emergency affecting a large group of people, it can be important to deliver information swiftly and through reliable channels.

In 2006, then-President George W. Bush signed an executive order to set up an “effective, reliable, integrated, flexible and comprehensive system” to alert and warn the American people in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster or other hazards to public safety.

Under that order, the Federal Emergency Management Agency created something called the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, which is now used by government and emergency agencies across the United States to communicate with the American people in times of trouble. IPAWS can be used to deliver many different kinds of emergency alerts, including Amber Alerts, severe weather warnings and messages like the kerosene alert sent in Baltimore County on Wednesday.