Without proper training, the new Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) may be used improperly, says the chair of the House Subcommittee on emergency preparedness. In a recent Congressional hearing, Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) asked a senior FEMA official what’s being done. Bilirakis said if CMAS messages don’t rise to the level of “imminent threats”, “this may result in message saturation and individuals may, unfortunately, ignore important messages.”
Damon Penn is FEMA’s Assistant Administrator for the National Continuity Programs Directorate, under which IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) and its CMAS program operate. He told Bilirakis the next major step is training message originators - the public safety officials around the country who will be given authority to activate CMAS alerts through IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System). He said an Internet-based program is being developed to provide training to input the message and “do the buttonology”. Penn said training will include best practices and a “clear definition of imminent threat and what IPAWS means”.
Penn said IPAWS will also be able to monitor each alert that comes through the system. Access will be controlled, and anyone who is abusing the system will be removed from it.
Penn said the “real challenge” is that each jurisdiction is a “little different” with different requirements. He said IPAWS “will have to be very sensitive to the conditions of the states and locals”.
More later on other testimony before the Subcommittee, and an update on IPAWS plans for training alerting authorities.
All the best,
Galain Solutions, Inc.