EBS: Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) FAQ

This document provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS).

What are the common terms and acronyms used?

Acronym

Name

Description

FEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency

A division of Homeland Security, FEMA coordinates response to disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities.

IPAWS

Integrated Public Alert & Warning System

A national alert and warning system that is managed by FEMA.

JITC Environment

Joint Interoperability Test Command

A testing and simulation environment for IPAWS agencies.

COG ID

Collaborative Operating Group Identifier

An IPAWS-issued ID that authorizes agencies to send messages.

EAS

Emergency Alert System

A public warning system used by federal, state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas, through broadcast, cable, satellite and wireline providers. One of the four IPAWS-supported channels.

NWEM

Non-Weather Emergency Message

A tool for federal, state and local authorities to issues localized EAS messages for non-weather related incidents. NWEM utilizes the NOAA Weather Radio Network to disseminate alerts over local television and radio stations. One of the four IPAWS-supported channels.

NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A division of Homeland Security that supports NWEM.

WEA

Wireless Emergency Alerts

A public safety system that sends geographically-targeted text message alerts to wireless and mobile phones. WEA was previously known as CMAS (Commercial Mobile Alert System). One of the four IPAWS-supported channels.

CAP Exchange

Common Alerting Protocol

Also known as COG-to-COG, the Common Alerting Protocol is an XML-based data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies. CAP allows a warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many warning systems to many applications. One of the four IPAWS-supported channels.

CAP RSS Feed

Rich Site Summary Feed

A tool for publishing warnings and emergencies to a CAP-formatted RSS feed.

SAME Code

Specific Area Message Encoding

A protocol used for geo-coding locations.

PUBLIC Feed

PUBLIC Feed

A tool that allows third party agencies, such as Google Public Alerts, to redistribute alerts.

Can audio files be attached to IPAWS notifications?

Saving an MP3 FileAudio files must be attached as a separate file using the attachments option. Text-to-speech and recordings made with the Everbridge recorder will not be made available to IPAWS.

FEMA's audio requirements are MP3 files saved in single channel mono at a sample rate of 44100Hz.

As shown on the right, audio files can be saved and exported to the required format in applications such as Adobe Audition. NOTE: Everbridge does not endorse a specific digital audio editor and recording application software.

Can an IPAWS notification be cancelled or stopped once it has been sent?

Yes. Please view knowledge base article 000034915 - How to Cancel or Update Sent IPAWS Messages in Everbridge.

Which channels support attachments?

EAS, PUBLIC Feed and CAP Exchange.

Which channels support polygons?

WEA, EAS, PUBLIC Feed and CAP Exchange.

What are the differences between public, restricted, and private scopes?

  • Public: notifications will be available by polling from a COG (Collaborative Operating Group). All messages intended for any push mechanism (RSS, EAS, WEA/CMAS, or NWS) must have a "Public" scope.
  • Restricted and Private: notifications will be available for retrieval only by polling from a COG that is specifically identified in the "Restriction" or "Address" ;text field. Notifications with either of these scopes will not be made available to IPAWS-OPEN.

What do I enter for the COG ID? What do I enter for the COG Alias?

For the COG ID, enter only the numbers from the .jks file. For the COG Alias, enter the .jks file name. For example, if your file was IPAWSOPEN_000000.jks, your COG ID would be 000000, and your COG Alias would be IPAWSOPEN_000000.

How do I enter my private key or keystore password?

Please view knowledge base article 000009341 - How are the private key and keystore password used for IPAWS notifications in Everbridge Suite?

How do I know which channels I have access to?

Please view knowledge base article 000006892 - Is there a way to see an organization's IPAWS COG profile in Everbridge Suite?

How do I integrate IPAWS with my Everbridge organization?

Please view knowledge base article 000002757 - IPAWS: How are IPAWS credentials stored in an Everbridge organization?

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