FEMA and the National Weather Service (NWS) have partnered to provide the NWS family of dissemination systems as an additional channel through which alerting authorities using Integrated Public Alert and Warning Systems (IPAWS) can send public alerts and warnings.
This is made possible through the All-Hazards Emergency Message Collection System, also known as “HazCollect,” which automatically relays Non-Weather Emergency Messages (NWEMs) from NWS approved officials to NWS dissemination systems including NOAA’s All Hazards Weather Radio (NWR). The IPAWS Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) converts public alerts intended for HazCollect to a format that is compatible with international meteorological standards. HazCollect then routes valid NWEMs through a gateway allowing alerting authorities to use IPAWS to send their messages through the NWS family of dissemination services, greatly increasing the number of alerting channels and enhancing the likelihood of timely receipt by the public.
The NWS family of dissemination systems includes NWR, NOAA Weather Wire Service (NWWS), Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN), NWS websites and internet feeds. The NWR is a nationwide network of radio stations including 1,000 transmitters covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. Radio and television broadcasters, and other Emergency Alert System (EAS) participants, generally monitor the NWS as an alternate source, providing backup for alerts delivered to the EAS via other methods.
Government organizations responsible for public alerting that wish to utilize HazCollect must first successfully complete the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) process with IPAWS. Upon completion and approval of the IPAWS Public Alerting application Collaborative Operating Groups (COGs) will be directed to NOAA to obtain permission from the NWS to be a HazCollect alerting authority.
Government organizations responsible for public alerting that wish to utilize HazCollect as part of IPAWS must apply directly to the National Weather Service for HazCollect access. Go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/hazcollect for more information.