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Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
What is IPAWS?
During an emergency, the President, federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local officials and emergency managers must provide the public with life-saving information quickly.
The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is the nation’s next-generation infrastructure of alert and warning networks expanding upon the traditional audio-only radio and television Emergency Alert System (EAS) by providing one message over more media to more people before, during, and after a disaster.
The vision of IPAWS builds and maintains an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible and comprehensive system that enables the American people to receive alert and warning information through as many means as possible. IPAWS ensures the President can alert and warn the public under all conditions. IPAWS will provide federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local warning authorities the capabilities to alert and warn their respective communities of all hazards impacting public safety and well-being via multiple communications pathways.
Since 2004, FEMA has served as the Federal Executive Branch lead agency for developing IPAWS. In June 2006, the President signed the Public Alert and Warning System Executive Order to drive the creation of a more “effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system that enables the American people to receive alert and warning information through as many means as possible.” In response, FEMA established the IPAWS Program Management Office (PMO) in April 2007.
EAS Modernization and Expansion Project
In 2009, the IPAWS PMO will complete partial communications path diversification for alert messages by deploying Digital Emergency Alert System (DEAS) to states and a U.S. territory. The first stage of DEAS will add connectivity to the legacy EAS and will enable State Emergency Operations Centers to transmit audio alerts.
In 2009, the IPAWS PMO will complete the integration of satellite data transmission paths as a diverse path for EAS message delivery from FEMA to relay stations. Satellite infrastructure can be fully integrated with the legacy EAS and initially provides a reliable, redundant commercial system utilizing multiple uplinks and satellites for national level EAS distribution.
From 2009-2011, the IPAWS PMO will expand incrementally the number of participating broadcast stations each year for a total of 69 stations. The expansion of participating stations will address known gaps in population coverage. The end goal is to maximize service to the public.
The IPAWS program will continue to develop additional paths such a satellite, digital radio, Internet, and commercial broadcast television for later inclusion into the IPAWS program, to broaden the diversity and increase the types of communications pathways providing public alert and warning messages.