Main Content

Integrated Public Alert & Warning System Open Platform for Emergency Networks

This section contains information about the IPAWS Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN), the message aggregator that validates and authenticates public alerts and warnings.

The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) receives and authenticates messages transmitted by alerting authorities and routes them to IPAWS-compliant public alerting systems. Software and hardware developers are creating IPAWS-OPEN-compatible alert origination and dissemination tools for emergency management officials that allow messages to travel to the public via radio, television, cell telephone, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, internet-based systems, and other dissemination systems.

Private sector manufacturers of Emergency Alert System (EAS) encoder/decoder equipment have updated their products to be capable of receiving alerts from IPAWS-OPEN. IPAWS uses the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), an international standard developed by Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and FEMA, in cooperation with private sector developers. Existing state or locally owned and operated warning systems – such as sirens, highway signs, or emergency telephone notification systems – can be designed to integrate alerts from IPAWS-OPEN.

Additional capabilities of IPAWS-OPEN

In addition to authenticating and routing emergency alerts and warnings, IPAWS-OPEN has several other capabilities:

  • CAP for Data Interoperability: IPAWS-OPEN supports the use of CAP by public safety organizations to exchange incident reports and related information between different IPAWS-OPEN-compatible software systems.

  • National Weather Service (NWS) Dissemination: IPAWS-OPEN employs a form of CAP that is compatible with existing NWS dissemination systems, including NOAA Weather Radio and HazCollect.  IPAWS-OPEN may be used to route messages to the NWS gateway to increase the number of channels used to warn the public. Please note that NWS and FEMA are currently working on improvements that will allow NOAA Weather Radio and EAS to operate without interference and avoid potential duplicate alerts.

Who may use IPAWS-OPEN

Federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local government organizations are eligible to apply for free access to IPAWS-OPEN. Additional information about the application process is available on the Alerting Authorities web pagePrivate or public sector developers can access, at no charge, the IPAWS test and development environment for the purpose of designing IPAWS-OPEN compatible systems. Private or public sector developers can also access, at no charge, the IPAWS All-Hazards Information Feed of live alerts issued by government organizations for the purposes of redistribution and/or situational awareness.

Last Updated: 
06/30/2020 - 16:00