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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 17:47

FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Subcommittee Final Report Available

FEMA announced today the National Advisory Council (NAC) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Subcommittee officially completed their final report, “Modernizing the Nation’s Public Alert and Warning System.”

The subcommittee was mandated by the IPAWS Modernization Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-143) to develop recommendations to the NAC for improving the integrated public alert and warning system. The work of the subcommittee represents a collaborative effort at all levels of government, including seven federal agencies, private-sector leads, subject-matter experts and representatives with access and functional needs.

“Effective alert and warning capability is a foundational capability for emergency management,” said Daniel Lipka, FEMA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for National Continuity Programs. “This report provides key strategic and tactical steps to increase the effectiveness of, and access to, this capability. Our agency continues to provide steadfast support to our state, local, tribal and territorial partners as they issue alerts.”

The subcommittee held its inaugural meeting in August 2017. From its first meeting to the production of this report in October 2018, the 45-member Subcommittee received 77 presentations from subject-matter experts representing all parts of the alert and warning community.

Their participation has resulted in a final report consisting of 14 critical recommendations on common alert and warning protocols, standards, technology and operating procedures. These recommendations aim to build a more robust and responsive integrated public alert and warning system with the goal of improving the reach and reliability of IPAWS for the benefit of all.

Subcommittee members’ recommendations are divided into five themes related to emergency alerting:

  1. Improving Alerting Authorities’ Ability to Transmit Effective Alerts;
  2. Improving Public and Congressional Understanding of Emergency Alerting;
  3. Optimizing Technology;
  4. Identifying and Adopting Current and Future Technologies; and 
  5. Initiating Cross-Functional Management and Administration of IPAWS.

The final subcommittee report is attached and posted on the National Advisory Council webpage at  https://www.fema.gov/recommendations-and-reports.