IPAWS National Test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The National EAS and WEA test will be held on the backup date of October 3, 2018, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on the backup date of October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016,  and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

The test was originally planned for September 20, 2018 but has been postponed until October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.

A free app with preparedness info? #NatlPrep #EmergencyManagement

So many state emergency management agencies have apps that can help you prepare. Here’s a fine example of the @scemd app that has tons of #preparedness info on #hurricane #nuclear #winter #snow #thunderstorm #wildfire #flooding #thunder #tornado #safety

No matter what part of the country you reside or work, be better prepared with these kinds of free apps available to anyone.

#FREE #NATLPREP

So many free things you can do to better prepare yourself for an emergency or disaster.

@rusnivek

The start of 2018 National Preparedness Month! #NatlPrep

Guess what day it is……September 1st – the start of National Preparedness Month!

Follow along for a bunch of preparedness things you can do to for you, your family, and your friends.

Additionally, I’ll share a bunch of other posts from the home agency too!

#NatlPrep

@rusnivek

Day-1 ICS-300 with strong DoD participation

It’s Monday morning so lets kick off another hard core ICS-300 course…in the Poinsettia Room! 🌺

Also known as the city’s Emergency Operations Center too.

Diverse groups today with a strong showing from our Department of Defense and local public safety professionals.

This kind of joint training provides us the opportunities to build stronger partnerships and even strengthen the preexisting bonds with DoD assets including a few special teams.

Lots of group work as participants figure out priorities and challenges during the first few hours and into the first/second operational period.

But working through the issues in a calm classroom will help reduce the amount of stress during an actual emergency. Finding out strengths and gaps and addressing them so that everyone can respond better to any incident. That’s right enhancing response capabilities.

Sound familiar? That’s what HSPD-5 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5) is all about. A coordinated response! <heavy breathing>

That is exactly what Emergency Management is all about – build relationships for a coordinated response. <heavier breathing>

And also proof, if you teach it right, you can get people to smile in my ICS classes.

Awww yeah!

Great work from all participants – lotsa participation from everyone!

Glad to see so much collaboration from local, county, state, Federal, and DoD assets.

And as always, thank you for your service to our great country.

Happy birthday Marty. It’s a great first day.

Looking forward to the next two days!

@rusnivek

Volunteers & Donation Management

Volunteer and Donations Management class today.

Lots of discussion was sparked by spontaneous volunteers.

While easy to handle, complex to handle without a tested and easy system to categories skills and personnel.

Additionally, lots focused on resource and supplies. A casual remark in class is that volunteers can house all kinds of stuff and be able to distribute everything accordingly.

Let me be very honest, I love people that want to help. But if you dump this task on an untrained and unfamiliar set of volunteers, it will not go smoothly. You have to train them, set them in a direction, and of course be as organized and coordinated as you can be. Make them part of your team EARLY!

So to share a perfect example of serving in disaster recovery, I’ll again share the AmeriCorps package we put together while deployed out for Hurricane Maria on the US Virgin Islands St. Thomas.

Outstanding crew to work with and solid bunch of dedicated individuals to the mission at hand. More info about AmeriCorps, click here and AmeriCorp Blue-6 (<—That team is SOLID).

A few takeaways for participants in today’s class:

  • Build relationships before an emergency.
  • Enhance capabilities and knowledge.
  • Evaluate skill sets of your volunteer workforce.
  • Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.
  • Help your neighbor.
  • Do good stuff.

Train your volunteers frequently as they should be a valuable part of our community’s recovery process.

@rusnivek

Kicking off 2018 #Hurricane season this Wednesday with DHS Secretary Nielsen and FEMA Administrator Long

Kicking off 2018 #Hurricane season this Wednesday with Department of Homeland Security (@DHSgov) Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and Federal Emergency Management Agency (@FEMA) Administrator Brock Long (@FEMA_Brock).

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the State of Ohio #Basic #PIO class #Summit

Day-2 of the State of Ohio Basic Public Information Officers’ Course here in Summit County. And yaaassss, #OnWednesdaysWeWearPink!


Started off the morning talking about interview skills and techniques that are readily used by both PIOs and Reporters/Photojournalists.


Reviewed all oncamera interviews from all the participants in our class.


We want to prepare our new PIOs with the best training so they are capable off hitting the ground running representing their agency positively in a crisis or emergency.

Steve brought in the Team from WKYC (NBC affiliate) Akron Office to be our panel discussion.


Lots of great points including what could make or break a PIO – esp for a close tight knit community like Akron and Summit County. Special thanks to Reporter Amani Abraham and Photojournalist Carl Bachtel on their insight to news media.

PC: Bosso

I was able to get my friend Cleveland Police PIO Sgt Jennifer Ciaccia to give a dual presentation with me on the 2016 Republican National Convention and other Cleveland activities.


As a team, Jen and I are solid, but we recognize that others are needed to establish the efforts of PIOing within their own communities – no matter pre-planned event or emergency.


And yes, we addressed how PIOs need to keep current on social media trends esp on national cool campaigns…like the mannequin challenge.

Again, special thanks to Jen on the support of today’s State of Ohio Basic PIO class.

PC: Bosso

PC: Bosso

Afternoon was dedicated to the PIO TTX. We setup two groups with all participants for the in class mock press conference and they did a solid job. Both groups worked together…


…and formulated talking points….


…organized and strategically thought out a press conferences agenda…


…prepped speakers…


And of course controlled the unruly fictitious media reps from OZRadio, WTF, and the YellowBrickRoadNews. FEMA Phil and USFA Tom would be so proud of us MPIOs to see us working the press conference part of the class.

Another great day for PIO training in the State of Ohio!

@rusnivek