Now that IPAWS has many success stories attributed to its use, public safety officials are getting a better sense of just how effective this tool can be. The number of applications for Collaborative Operating Group (COG) approvals is increasing; in some states, 80-90% of county emergency management agencies are now IPAWS Alerting Authorities.
Even with such promising results, many public safety officials are still unclear about how effective IPAWS can be when used in combination with their existing mass notification systems. Although professional discretion is afforded through the FEMA-IPAWS Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), some agencies are still uncomfortable determining what should be considered an “imminent threat” worthy of initiating a Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) alert.
CodeRED with IPAWS is a very comprehensive alerting feature, providing for all five channels of dissemination through IPAWS:
IPAWS alerts sent through CodeRED can be created and launched simultaneously with other alerts without the need to log into a separate application, a feature that makes CodeRED unique among notification systems.
In addition, CodeRED provides users with access to the IPAWS Test Environment, which allows unlimited testing of IPAWS for the COGs. This enables a great opportunity to conduct IPAWS training and encourage system familiarity to end users in a way that is typically unavailable with other public alerting platforms. We encourage every IPAWS COG to request the Test Environment credentials from FEMA.
In an effort to continue to grow adoption rates and further test the IPAWS system, the FEMA IPAWS division recently conducted a national test of the EAS and WEA system on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. The test message was launched by FEMA using the National Periodic Test event code (NPT), which allowed organizers to test the nationwide alerting capabilities from Washington D.C. The NPT test was successful and helped FEMA and the FCC assess the readiness to distribute an emergency message nationwide while also determining where improvements were needed.
CodeRED from OnSolve is partnering with FEMA to continue spreading the word about IPAWS and help our clients better understand its value and capabilities.
IPAWS provides agencies with powerful tools to keep their residents informed and safe. Understanding IPAWS, including its components and capabilities, can help agencies like yours make significant improvements to their public safety programs.
The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) provides agencies with powerful tools to keep their residents informed and safe. Understanding IPAWS, including its components and capabilities, can help agencies like yours make significant improvements to their public safety programs.Download The eBook