Some local public safety organizations have begun the process to become an "IPAWS Alerting Authority", paving the way to send alerts to mobile devices in targeted geographic areas without requiring residents to sign up. The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) launches this year, and the process for obtaining access has been unveiled.
This is important stuff. So, we produced a CMAS primer available via podcast here (less than ten minutes by the way). Among other things, you'll learn about the four-step process for becoming an Alerting Authority so you can use CMAS and other alerting capabilities facilitated through FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. The four steps are:
1. Select IPAWS compatible software
2. Apply for a Memorandum of Agreement with FEMA
3. Apply for public alerting permissions with your state
4. Complete IPAWS web-based training
(We'll do separate posts on the individual steps later.)
So far, word about the process has only trickled out and a handful of public safety organizations have applied. You can find a list of them on FEMA's web site here. The list will grow as more people know about the process. Meantime, the mobile industry is getting ready. Many of the new mobile devices being shipped now have been set-up to receive CMAS alerts, and carriers are preparing their local transmission equipment. It looks like CMAS is finally happening.
Now's the time to start applying for IPAWS alerting authority. And, please don't hesitate to send the link to the CMAS podcast to your colleagues. The more people know about the program and process involved, the better off we'll all be.
All the best,