Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) was organized and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. The system allowed for alerts to be originated by Federal, State, local and tribal officials, and subsequently disseminated to the public using a range of national and local alerting systems including EAS, CMAS and NWR. The system used open standard digital formats such as the EDXL-based Common Alerting Protocol v1.2 for its messages, allowed for interoperable dissemination to a wide range of third party receivers. On September 30th CACP was notified by the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, Division of the National Continuity Program Directorate of a grant from the IPAWS program: IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) Alerts for People with Disabilities or Language Differences. The award was for approximately $500,000 for one year – September 30, 2013 – September 29, 2014. The CACP Collaborative team efforts were to promote access to emergency communications for people with disabilities by providing advisory support, independent analysis and other professional services to the Directorate in which IPAWS resided. Specifically, the team provided subject matter expertise on regulatory, policy and disability issues by supplying evidence based, unbiased technical and policy options and recommendations on emergency communications, notifications, warnings and alerts that can contribute to advancing the goals of IPAWS to be inclusive of people with disabilities. The diverse assignments included but not be limited to assist IPAWS in educating relevant agencies, organizations, emergency managers and industry to better understand the needs of people with disabilities during emergencies, informed citizens on mainstream technologies that can be co-opted for use in emergency communications, assisted in supporting the vital work of first responders and state/local emergency managers, assisted in social media activities, and explored ways to provide accessible next generation Wireless Emergency Alerts over various platforms that tie to IPAWS. The CACP Collaborative included the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), the Interactive Media Technology Center (IMTC), and leverage the work of the Wireless RERC also funded by the Federal government.