The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans to adopt an alerting protocol similar to the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) 1.1 as the standard for the Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System (IPAWS).
IPAWS is a network of alert systems through which FEMA is upgrading the existing Emergency Alert System (EAS). CAP 1.1 is a format for exchanging emergency alerts allowing a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems. Participants in the EAS, including broadcasters and state and local emergency managers, will be required to be in compliance with CAP 1.1 standard within 180 days of its formal adoption by FEMA. FEMA will implement it in Q1 2009.
“Messaging standards improve information sharing and provide a foundation for data interoperability,” said David Boyd, director of the Command, Control and Interoperability Division (CID) in DHS/ Science and Technology Directorate. “The division’s support of public alert and warning message standards is critical to our mission of creating and maintaining a secure and safe nation.”