American People

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The American people are the foundation of all partner groups, and the primary reason the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office (PMO) works to create an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive public alert and warning system. It is incumbent upon the IPAWS PMO to reach out to the American people, in order to ensure all segments of the American population understand the functions of IPAWS, and how to appropriately respond to alerts and warnings from public safety officials.

The IPAWS PMO, in partnership with State and local alerting authorities, public and private sector partners, Federal partners, and non-profit and advocacy organizations, will use every opportunity and available venue, to provide educational and actionable information to the American people.

The IPAWS PMO, in partnership with Ready.gov, has created public education products that are designed to ensure the American people understand the functions of the public alert and warning system and how to access, use, and respond to information from public safety officials.

Public Service Announcements (PSA) for TV and radio, in English and Spanish, were released in June 2013 and were created as a means to draw the public’s attention to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and how they are an important lifesaving tool. The PSAs are intended to educate the public on what WEA is, how to recognize when a message is received, to heed the warning and take the prescribed protective action in the message, and directs viewers to learn more about lifesaving alerts at www.Ready.gov/alerts.

The IPAWS PMO encourages public safety officials to take full advantage of these products and work with local broadcasters to make the WEA PSAs a part of local public education campaigns by individualizing the PSA tagline. FEMA works with all public safety officials who are interested in incorporating these and other products into local efforts to educate the public about emergency alerts.

The IPAWS PMO and Ready.gov also developed a webpage with up-to-date information informing the public about how to prepare for emergencies. Ready.gov/alerts provides information about WEAs, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and NOAA’s All Hazards Radio. The webpage hosts all of the WEA PSAs as well as other helpful information for the public. Ready.gov/alerts also engages the American people by providing a mechanism for them to submit their personal stories of receiving WEAs; these stories are frequently highlighted on Ready.gov/alerts and/or included in FEMA presentations.

Additionally, the IPAWS PMO developed a 15 minute web-based training course, “IPAWS and the American Public” http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-248. The course is designed to educate the American people about the variety of alert and warning tools and technologies public safety officials can use to send life-saving alerts. The course also has a section focused on how the public should respond when they receive an alert.

Return to the FEMA IPAWS Home Page.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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