More and more government agencies are signing up for access to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). FEMA has made it easy to learn about the system with a free online course. The goal of the three-lesson course is to provide best practices, increased awareness of the benefits of using IPAWS for effective public warnings, skills to draft more appropriate, effective, and accessible warning messages.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), sent via IPAWS, are only just starting to be utilized. They are still largely unknown to the general public. Ready.gov has an extremely helpful PSA video as well as answers to frequently asked questions about the system.
WEA emergency messages can be sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier for situations such as extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
The subject of IPAWS comes up often with our customers and it can be a confusing and complicated system to explain. We updated our comprehensive white paper explaining what IPAWS is, what it can do for you, and how it works in connection with the Rapid Notify system. We highly recommend you download the paper today.
With all of the extreme weather situations we are experiencing, now is the perfect time to invite your contacts self-register to receive your important alert messages.
To enable the Registration by Invitation feature, please contact Rapid Notify Customer Support with an advance request.
Rapid Notify’s self-registration feature helps organizations ensure that their mass communications are privacy compliant by offering opt-in and opt-out capability. People are more likely to be receptive to your messages when they can control their subscription and contact information.
Once you have selected “Invite New Contacts” from your contact list, an email with registration instructions will help guide the contact through the process.
Self-registrants complete a short online form with their contact information, indicate their preferences for notification, and select a secure login enabling them to return and update contact details as often as needed. The form collects comprehensive contact information with multiple fields including name, address, zip code, up to three phone numbers, email and SMS text number.
If you need assistance implementing Rapid Notify’s Self-Registration Invitation, please see page 24 of the new 2015 User Guide.
A recent study conducted for the U.S Department of Homeland Security by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has suggested some fundamental changes to the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA).
Primarily, WEA messages need to be longer suggests the study. Currently WEA messages only offer 90 characters and do not allow a URL to be included. START recommends consideration of adding URLs to WEA messages to direct recipients to websites for additional information.
WEA messages could potentially be more effective if the information is given in a different order. Currently, WEA messages must provide information in the following order: hazard, location, time, guidance and source. START suggests an alternative order: source, guidance, hazard, location and time, to improve likelihood of action taken in response to the message.