When an emergency event has the potential to impact your community, the most important aspects of your communication strategy are speed and maximum citizen reach. Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2006 to provide both.
IPAWS is a notification tool that allows authorized users to connect to the IPAWS platform to send alerts to cell phones, local TV and radio broadcasts, and can even post notifications to digital road signs and various other locations instantaneously. IPAWS enables you to reach as many people as possible, including citizens and visitors who have not opted-in to text, phone, or email communications.
Federal, state and local alerting authorities can use IPAWS and integrate local systems that use Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) standards with the IPAWS infrastructure. IPAWS does not have a stand-alone interface. Emergency messages must be sent via an IPAWS compliant CAP Alert Origination software like CivicReady, the mass notification solution for local governments.
CivicReady’s IPAWS integration provides an effective way to alert the public not only through the wireless networks, but also through landlines, cable and satellite TV, AM/FM radio, digital signage, PA systems, websites, social media and, if power goes out, NOAA weather radio.
IPAWS can be used to communicate any kind of threat to the public, including hazardous chemicals spills, severe weather alerts, missing children, or even terrorists’ threats. Recently WEA cellphone alerts have been used successfully during the Boston Bombings and active shooter scares. The more state and local authorities adopt IPAWS, the more communities will be safe and strengthened by good communication during an emergency.
CivicReady is proud to be on the IPAWS Open Developers list and short list of IPAWS vendors. The companies on the list have been given the highest ratings for aspects such as most user friendly interface and then proven successful upon repeated testing across all dissemination avenues. As a client of CivicReady, CivicPlus support will help you facilitate the process with FEMA to become an IPAWS message alerting authority.
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