EBS: How Are Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Messages Sent in Everbridge Suite?

Question:

How are Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) messages sent in Everbridge Suite?

Answer:

NOTE: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires every organization enabled to send Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) messages to send a successful monthly demo message to maintain proficiency.

FEMA) established and maintains IPAWS to provide reliable alerting to United States residents by authorized senders. In order to send IPAWS messages, credentials must be obtained by sending an inquiry to ipaws@fema.dhs.gov. To integrate credentials with Everbridge see Knowledge Base Article 000003757 - Integrating Everbridge with IPAWS.

Video Instructions: How to Send an IPAWS Message via Mass Notification

Video Instructions: How to Send an IPAWS Message via Incident Communication

Written Instructions

Create Message Panel

To send an IPAWS message follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to the Manager Portal and select the desired organization from the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the Notifications tab from the top of the page.
  3. Click New Notification.
  4. In the Create Message pane, enter a title for the notification in the Title text field, and then enter a message in the Body text field.
    1. Files can be attached via the Attach Files link. All IPAWS channels except WEA accept up to five files totaling two megabytes.
    2. The EAS channel also accepts attached audio files that must be in MP3 format and cannot exceed two minutes.
Publishing Options
  1. Select the desired CAP channel(s) from the Publishing Options pane.
    1. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) sends geographically targeted text message alerts to mobile devices.
    2. Emergency Alert System (EAS) initiates a message via AM radio, FM radio, Satellite radio, Cable TV, and Satellite TV.
    3. COG-to-COG (CAPEXCH) is a private channel that sends targeted messages to other alerting authorities using their COG IDs. COG is an acronym for Collaborative Operating Group.
    4. PUBLIC Feed posts alerts so that third-party agencies, such as Google Public Alerts, can redistribute them.
    5. The Non-Weather Emergency Messages (NWEM) channel is intended for sending non-weather alerts to National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration NWS all-hazard radios.
IPAWS Credentials
  1. Test Mode is selected by default. Sending an IPAWS test message is an efficient way to ensure that an organization's settings are properly integrated with IPAWS. IPAWS test messages are sent only to the IPAWS test environment; however, if contacts are selected for an IPAWS test message, the message will be sent to them as well. To avoid confusion, contacts should not be selected when sending IPAWS test messages.
IPAWS Live Mode
  1. Click Live Mode to send an notification.

Enter the Private Key and Keystore Password credentials issued by FEMA. Or input the custom PIN set up in the organization settings.

CAP Fields
  1. Complete the CAP Fields.
    1. Message Status should always be set to "Actual" for WEA. EAS and COG-to-COG messages can include other options like "Test" and "Exercise".
    2. Source should be the name of the sending agency.
    3. Scope is always set to "Public" for WEA and EAS alerts. "Private" and "Restricted" are for COG-to-COG messages.
    4. Restriction is only used for COG-to-COG messages. This can be filled with any desired text (e.g., "Law Enforcement Sensitive", or "Official Use Only").
    5. Addresses is only used for COG-to-COG messages. Enter the COG ID of the organizations you want to share your messages with. Separate each COG ID with a comma.
CAP Fields Continued
  1. Select the desired Message Category in the drop-down.
  2. Select the desired Urgency in the drop-down.
  3. Select the desired Severity in the drop-down.
  4. Select the desired Certainty in the drop-down.
  5. Select an Event Name in the drop-down.
  6. Expires is the expected hourly duration of the hazardous event.

For WEA messages, the public will continue to receive the message if they enter the area of the alert before it expires. This time should be the same or shorter than the broadcast duration time under the notification Settings to ensure the alert can be stopped or extended.

  1. Sender Agency Name is automatically populated based on the name listed in the organization settings. If you have more than one name, you can select the desired one in the drop-down list.
  2. Headline will automatically populate from the title of the message, but it can be changed.
CAUTION:

For sub-steps n, o, and p, be aware of the following:

  • Avoid using characters not found on a standard keyboard.
  • Avoid copying text from a rich text environment such as word processing tools or Web pages.
  1. Message for WEA Only is required for WEA messages.

Click Load Message Text if the message body filled out in step 4 should match here. This message is limited to 90 characters that will be sent to smart phones in the area of the alert. Hyperlinks and phone numbers can be included, but they will not be clickable. Avoid special characters since most are rejected by FEMA.

  1. Message is the content desired to share for all channels except WEA and NWEM. If only WEA or NWEM are selected, this field is not available.

For EAS alerts, this field is shared with the public via TV scroll bar, or read on the radio. However, if a recorded audio file is attached, the audio will play back instead of the text.

  1. Instruction is an optional field used for all IPAWS channels except WEA. In this field describe protective actions or precautionary measures.
  1. Web Link is an optional field to provide a URL for recipients to follow. This applies to all IPAWS channel alerts except WEA.
  2. U.S. Time Zones is optional and only used by NWEM.
CAP Fields Continued
  1. Area Description is a required field for all types of messages except WEA. This field is auto-populated with the name of the SAME code entered in organization settings.
  2. Affected Region Same Code(s) will display the SAME codes listed in the organization's settings. Select the check box next to the SAME code for the area(s) desired to notify.
  3. Polygon is optional. This section shows if a polygon is used in the Everbridge Suite map.
  4. Attachments is an optional field and used by all IPAWS channels except WEA.

EAS messages that include a recorded audio message as an attached file will be delivered to radio stations to play instead of text-to-speech. For more information on audio attachments see Knowledge Base Article 000009342 - IPAWS FAQ.

  1. Complete the rest of the message as desired and click Send.

Once sent, verify that the IPAWS message was sent successfully by following the steps below:

  1. From the Notifications tab, click on the title of the notification.
  2. Scroll down and click on the CAP Channels tab.
  3. Review the Publishing Status.
    1. The status will show "600" when WEA messages are sent successfully.
    2. The status will show "500" when EAS messager are sent successfully.

To view a list of all IPAWS publishing status values see Knowledge Base Article 000003386 - IPAWS Publishing Status Values.

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