The IPAWS Technical Support Services Facility (TSSF, formerly known as the IPAWS Lab) is staffed 24/7 with subject-matter experts experienced in emergency management, public safety communications, public works, and broadcasting, who assist Alerting Authorities with IPAWS needs.
The facility is equipped to provide technical support with IPAWS activations, alert troubleshooting, WEA tests, monthly proficiency demonstrations, and other IPAWS-related requests.
Additionally, The TSSF hosts a closed, end-to-end, IPAWS environment for alert creation and dissemination to all IPAWS pathways including the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, Non-Weather Emergency Messages and IPAWS All-Hazards Information Feed so that Alerting Authorities may train, practice, and exercise alert, warning, and notification procedures and processes.
Located close to Washington, D.C, at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD, the TSSF includes state-of-the-art interactive conference and seminar spaces to support Alerting Authorities on-site and virtually with seminars, training initiatives, and exercises.
The IPAWS Office encourages and supports practicing and exercising IPAWS through the TSSF, enabling public safety officials to gain confidence using IPAWS.
Alerting Authorities may perform LIVE Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) tests by using the Required Weekly Test (RWT) event code. Live tests enable Alerting Authorities to assess effectiveness of WEA within their jurisdictions without impacting the public.
The IPAWS Office, in collaboration with FEMA’s National Exercise Division (NED), encourages and supports Alerting Authority participation in drills, workshops, and exercises. This Fact Sheet offers guidance on how you can use IPAWS during exercises and how we can help.
IPAWS introduces Scenario-Based Monthly Proficiency Demonstrations that are pre-developed short scenarios to make your proficiency demonstration experience more interesting and useful.
Most wireless providers support Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) but how a device handles a WEA is dependent upon manufacturer make and model, and the WEA version it supports. This guidance will explain the different WEA versions and provide links to some wireless provider websites that list WEA capabilities by manufacturer make and model.
This kit provides stakeholders across the whole community with ready-to-use materials and templates to develop, conduct and evaluate an exercise integrating IPAWS capabilities to improve your confidence and proficiency in execution of public information and warning.
FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office provides public safety officials with a controlled IPAWS Technical Support Services Facility where approved alerting authorities are permitted access to practice, train and exercise use of IPAWS.
A decision tree to aid in determining what type of alert should be sent and through what message distribution channel, based on incident.
-Courtesy of Jennifer Lazo, CEM, City of Los Angeles Emergency Management
A guide to messaging ground rules, practical approaches, message mapping, scaling, and WEA templates.
-Courtesy of Soraya Sutherlin, MPA, CEM, Disaster Management Area C of Los Angeles County
For more information, send an email to the IPAWS Technical Support Services Facility or call, toll-free, 1-84-IPAWSLAB or 1-844-729-7522 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, including holidays.