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.

Is this flooded roadway safe? You tell me…. #TADD #Prepared2014

This week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16 – 22, 2014).

To help clarify some misconceptions about water and flooding, let me make it very clear – NEVER drive through flooded roads. Here’s a great example. We were dispatched after a few reported calls of a flooded roadway. Looks innocent enough right?

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Just because it’s downhill does NOT mean it is any safer…in fact, it is more dangerous.

  1. Gravity will move/flow the water faster.
  2. More water will cause you to lose control of your vehicle or possibly sink your vehicle and/or drown you.
  3. More water will remain at the bottom of the hill will definitely cause damage to your vehicle.

So how can you share this safety message with others?

  • Continue to share the message of Turn Around, Don’t Drown = #TADD (National safety campaign phrase)
  • Flash flooding can occur anywhere – even within metropolitan and urban areas.
  • Avoid areas that are frequently flooded.
  • Always follow instructions from your local emergency service professionals.
  • Report any flooded roadways to the proper authorities.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roads.

It’s really bad news if we have to meet like this…

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If you were wondering, that’s me on the right

Do your part in #Prepared2014 by being safe this year.

@rusnivek

2014 National Flood Safety Awareness Week #TADD #Prepared2014

This week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16 – 22, 2014).

Did you know that floods are the #1 natural disaster in the US? Just within the past five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

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How can you help?

Share these easy safety tips with your constituents on flood safety:

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown = #TADD (National safety campaign phrase)
  • Flash flooding can occur anywhere. If there is a possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Always follow instructions from your local emergency service professionals.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roads.
  • Use local alerts and warning systems (like iPAWS and WEAs) which can send localized information about your immediate area.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organization.
  • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause thousands of dollars in damages.
  • Do you know if you live in a flood zone? Find out here for free.

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So check your emergency preparedness kits and make sure you are ready!

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@rusnivek

Free Wireless Emergency Alerts from @FEMA #OHWX #Prepareness2014

It’s 2014 National Severe Weather Awareness Week from March 2nd through March 8th.

Today, we will focus in on wireless mobile notification alerts!

Have you heard of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)?

  • Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, warnings can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.
  • You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are – at home, at school, or at work. Numerous public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Many communities also offer emergency alert notifications through their own systems.

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Do you know what the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is used for?

  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.

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Meshing all technologies together, do you know how the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is already helping everyone?

  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation’s existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure.
  • IPAWS’ EAS is the message dissemination pathway that sends warnings via broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline services. EAS may be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.300by250_Spanish_5

At this time in Ohio, the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) authorities who have completed the authentication steps are:

1. Ashtabula County

2. Clark County

3. Delaware County

4. Fairfield County

5. Geauga County

6. Lucas County

7. Ohio Emergency Management Agency

8. Tuscarawas County

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Hope you are paired with one of these local agencies to receive better information during severe weather or major emergency…otherwise, you’ll be left out in the dark.

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@rusnivek