Troy Harper, Vice President, Customer Success, OnSolve
For decades, public alerting systems have served as a critical notification tool for sending alerts to citizens’ smartphones, landlines and through broadcast channels. These systems have assumed even greater importance in recent years, due to more intense and frequent severe/extreme weather events, as well as more diverse non-weather emergency threats. From hurricanes and wildfires to active shooters, missing children and biological attack warnings, the need to keep citizens informed with accurate, realtime information is critical to protecting people and property.
On the heels of the Hawaii ballistic missile emergency alert “false alarm” and other incidents, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year announced changes designed to improve the integrity, efficacy and reliability of the nation’s alerting systems. The updated FCC requirements for Emergency Alert Systems adopts revisions to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules and sought comment on further measures to improve the effectiveness of both the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Primarily, the items the FCC want to see in the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is secured logins, alert launch safeguards and a clear separation of the test environment from the live environment, including color codes for distinction.