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IPAWS Components

This section contains information on the systems, standards, and infrastructure that support the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

There are several components within IPAWS. The IPAWS Architecture Diagram shows how standards-based alert message protocols, authenticated alert message senders, and shared access and distribution networks work together to deliver alerts and warnings to public interface devices.

To read more on the individual components within IPAWS, visit the following pages:

IPAWS Systems

Emergency Alert System (EAS):  The message dissemination pathway that sends warnings via broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline services.

Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA):  The message dissemination pathway that broadcasts alerts and warnings to cell phones and other mobile devices.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR): 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.

Internet Systems: The IPAWS All Hazards Feed, also known as the Public Feed, allows for services, applications, and devices to monitor and retrieve alerts and warnings over an internet connection.

IPAWS Standards

Common Alerting Protocol (CAP): The digital format for exchanging emergency alerts that allows a consistent alert message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different communications systems.

IPAWS Profile: The standard for receipt and translation among devices intended to receive alerts from IPAWS.

IPAWS Infrastructure

National Public Warning System (NPWS): Private or commercial radio broadcast stations that cooperatively participate with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during, and after incidents and disasters.

IPAWS Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN): The federal alert aggregator that receives and authenticates messages transmitted by alerting authorities and routes them to existing and emerging public alerting systems.

IPAWS Testing

Testing with the IPAWS Lab: The IPAWS Program Management Office (PMO) provides public safety officials with a controlled IPAWS testing environment where alert and warning technologies can be exercised to assess capabilities and effectiveness with IPAWS. 

The IPAWS National Test: The IPAWS PMO conducts tests to evaluate the effectiveness of IPAWS Open Platform for Emergency Networks and assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed. Testing will ensure an effective and reliable system exists to provide timely and accurate alerts to the public. Also, nationwide EAS-WEA testing helps FEMA and industry participants to maintain and improve alert and warning capabilities at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels.

Last Updated: 
01/30/2020 - 11:17