Alerts, warnings, and notifications are produced by agencies at all levels of government and serve a variety of mission and organizational needs. AWNs are a form of communication that enables authorities to share information about threats, events, and incidents with stakeholders for preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Currently there are multiple government AWN protocols and methods and mechanisms for dissemination through a wide array of distribution channels between federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
Because of its complexity and the number of agencies involved, there has been limited progress in addressing the need for a broader, better integrated system of alerts, warnings, and notifications. This office, in coordination with its mission partners, is defining and developing a consistent AWN framework that leverages exchange standards for the ability to identify, access, share, and disseminate information. It is expected that alerts, warnings, and notifications will be a major focus area for the ISE over the next year.
Currently, there are some processes in place to facilitate the sharing of alerts, warnings, and notifications with and between state, local, and tribal government partners and the public. For example, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) allows federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local government alerting authorities to use IPAWS and integrate local systems that use Common Alerting Protocol standards with the IPAWS infrastructure. IPAWS provides public safety officials with an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. You can learn more about this at ready.gov/alerts.