Are There Shortcomings in the IPAWS system?

IPAWS is teaming with the International Association of Emergency Managers this week for an online seminar boldly titled, IPAWS: The New Normal for Receiving Alerts.  Among other things, they’re going to talk about technical advancements and functionality, including shortcomings such as geo-targeting and communications between one Collaborative Operating Group (COG) to another.

What is a COG?

A COG is an organization or group of organizations in a community that get together to apply for the ability to use IPAWS and its several alerting channels. I’m not aware of much use of this capability and would welcome good examples of it being used.

Can IPAWS Alerts be Geo-Targeted?

I suspect the geo-targeting shortcoming relates to the fact that the ability to precisely target a geographic area is inconsistent through the country, largely dependent upon abilities of the cell carriers to target alerts sent through Wireless Emergency Alerts, the national cell alert system.

When is the IPAWS: The New Normal for Receiving Alerts seminar being held?

The session will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 2-3 p.m. (EST). You can register and attend by following this link.

They also intend to talk about best practices, including an explanation of when IPAWS can and cannot be used. Public outreach is also on the agenda.The online session sounds interesting, and it’s good to see IAEM involved. I’m not sure I would go as far as calling IPAWS “the new normal for receiving alerts,” but it certainly is contributing in huge ways to a system-of-system approach using a variety of channels, IPAWS and otherwise, to make sure people are alerted quickly and effectively.

This post was originally published in Emergency Management Magazine’s Alerts and Notifications blog authored by Galain President Rick Wimberly at Emergency Management Magazine.
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