This section contains information on the privately-owned systems, technologies, and infrastructure that are connected to the Intergrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to ensure the public gets timely, relevant, and actionable alerts and warnings.
When an emergency occurs, a public safety official can use an IPAWS-compatible computer software program to send an alert to people in their community. The alert goes through the internet to the IPAWS-Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN), which ensures that the alert was sent from an authorized source. IPAWS-OPEN then routes the alert to cell towers, radio and television broadcasters, road signs, sirens, etc. to maximize the chance that individuals who need to be alerted are notified.
IPAWS uses an internationally recognized eXtensible Markup Language message exchange data standard known as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). Technologies that use CAP and have access to the internet can be programmed to receive and distribute alerts sent through IPAWS. Currently, most messages are text only, but IPAWS-OPEN makes picture and video feeds possible and allows for the seamless incorporation of emerging technologies.
Computer gaming systems, digital signs, siren systems, internet search engines, social sharing websites, and instant messaging are all examples of technologies that are beginning to use IPAWS to deliver life-saving emergency alerts to the public.
Private-sector partners are representatives from companies with recognized equities in the alert and warning field. Because the majority of the infrastructure needed to accomplish the IPAWS mission is owned and operated by the private sector, the private sector is a key partner in the development and implementation of IPAWS.
Private sector developers may be interested in leveraging different aspects of IPAWS in the development of their alert and warning technology. Below is more information on various groups from the private sector that are currently working with the IPAWS Program Management Office.
Alert Origination Service Providers are developers that furnish the software interface that alerting authorities use to generate CAP messages.
Commercial Mobile Service Providers are wireless carriers who voluntarily participate in the Wireless Emergency Alerts system.
Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants partner with alerting officials at all levels of government to send detailed warnings. EAS participants include local radio and TV stations, along with cable, direct broadcast satellite and wireline service providers.
National Weather Service Systems can be used to leverage the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Radio and other NWS dissemination systems.
Internet Service Providers are developers that leverage the IPAWS All-Hazards Information Feed.
Unique System Developers are designers and manufacturers of emergency telephone networks, sirens, digital road signs, and other alerting technology that can be made CAP-compliant.
Future Alerting Technology Developers are developers interested in leveraging IPAWS for next generation emergency alerts and warnings.
Click here to see a broad, but not exhaustive, list of IPAWS PMO private-sector partners.