Alerting is a Local Decision

The IPAWS Office continues to receive reports that Alerting Authorities (AAs) declined to use the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to alert and warn the public, because the incident did not meet FEMA emergency requirements.

FEMA’s position is that emergencies are local, and it is at the discretion of local officials to provide timely notification to their jurisdictions.

  • The decision to issue an alert to the public is a matter of local emergency official communication plans, policies and procedures.
  • FEMA does not place limitations or restrictions on criteria for AAs to issue an alert to the public.

FEMA does not monitor, review, modify, approve or disapprove the message text content of alerts drafted and disseminated over IPAWS by AAs. Alert content, time of transmission, event code, targeted area, duration, and the decision to update or cancel an alert is the sole responsibility of an AA.

For more guidance on making your alert decisions, please consult the Best Practices for Alerting Authorities Using Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Contact the IPAWS Office at fema-ipaws-stakeholder-engagement@fema.dhs.gov.

Originally published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Click HERE for the source. 

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