Archive for the ‘IPAWS-OPEN’ Category.

Twitter Removed my Alert Blogger Access

On or about 30 November 2016 Twitter stopped accepting auto-generated links to new IPAWS alerts from my alertblogger.com.  A useful ability killed for no reason that I know of.    When I get time, I will try to re-establish the capability.   In the meantime @ipawsweather@VA_1st_IPAWS and @ipawsalerts are off line.   

The blogs are still alive and working. You can still use the following:

1. All recent Tornado Warnings and Flash Flood Warnings in the U.S can be found at http://weatheralerts.alertblogger.com.

2. All recent IPAWS Public Alerts affecting Virginia’s First Congressional District can be found at http://va1stipaws.alertblogger.com

3. All production non-weather IPAWS Alerts can be found at http://ipawsnonweather.alertblogger.com

 

IPAWS-OPEN 3.09

IPAWS-OPEN version 3.09 is being installed to Production today. Mostly behind the scenes changes.

Resiliency may improve reliability on the whole, but………..

Resiliency supports reliability, but sometimes, and in IT especially, all the extra services like backups, alternate sites, automatic failover, automated retry, etc. add so many parts that things seem like they are always breaking somewhere.  With the right design, the system itself does not fail. But damn, there is a lot to monitor and fix all the time to make that larger failure not happen.  Yep, that is #IPAWS; highly reliable, very resilient, and aways with some issue somewhere causing a problem.  But saving lives every day.

What Gates are Involved in Developing Applications that use IPAWS?

A recent question from a Commercial Developer:

If I was a public safety or transit organization and wanted to connect to the IPAWS-OPEN for Alert origination and/or dissemination, what administrative (legal, financial, etc.) and technical (information assurance, qualification, etc.) gates would I have to pass?

The answer from the IPAWS Program Office Lead Engineer:

Administrative gates:
1) An MOA is required to connect to our Test Development Lab (TDL) where you can develop interfaces to our system and consume alerts for rebroadcast. The MOA process begins here (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/moa_ipaws_open_app.pdf)
2) Once you have completed your development and have a working system, a separate MOA is required to consume alerts in the Production environment
3) There are no financial obligations by either party

Technical gates:
1) The method you will used to access FEMA systems to consume alerts is through https
2) The MOA contains a rules of behavior that will cover security at a high level
3) The IPAWS Program does not qualify or certify systems but there are a few options for you:
a. First, we have a lab at Indian Head, MD with several alert and warning tools that work with IPAWS. We use this lab to understand the state of the industry for alert and warning. We would welcome you to bring your capability to this lab.
b. Second, the Preparedness Technology Analysis and Coordination Center (P-TAC) performs testing and assessment of emergency management tools. This may be an appropriate avenue for you to have your solution analyzed for suitability for emergency management applications.”

Further Questions? I can help you get started.

Webinar on CAP Use Cases from an IPAWS Perspective

Giving a talk on the ways to use CAP using the new IPAWS CAP 1.2 interface at noon tomorrow (15 Feb 2012). Details:

Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Joint Developer/Practitioner Webinar
Using the Open Platform for Emergency Networks (OPEN) for Public and Private Alerting
Wednesday February 15, 2012 12:00 Noon Eastern

In addition to its role as message aggregator for public alerting, IPAWS-OPEN enables the interoperable sharing of emergency alerts and incident-related data between incident management systems that comply with non-proprietary information standards.

During our next Webinar, System Architect Gary Ham will describe how IPAWS-OPEN provides support for exchanging alerts within a single response organization, between one or more response organizations, with all response organizations, and/or with the public. He will also explain how the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) scope element is implemented by IPAWS-OPEN for public and private alerting.

This program is intended primarily for IPAWS-OPEN developers and testers; however, emergency management practitioners who are interested in learning more about IPAWS incident management-related capabilities are also encouraged to participate. Please make plans to join us via Live Meeting. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

IMPORTANT: The audio portion of the program will be delivered via your computer speakers. The Live Meeting client must be used in order to receive the audio. Please review the instructions available from: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/livemtginstruct.pdf prior to the program.

Login to MS Live Meeting for visuals: The following login link can only be used 30 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting time: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/eiip/join?id=DMprogram&role=attend

Presenting the IPAWS-OPEN Developer’s Guide

I will be explaining the contents of the new IPAWS-OPEN Developer’s Guide tomorrow. It will soon be added to downloads from the FEMA IPAWS-OPEN web site.
details are per the following:

Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Developer Webinar
Open Platform for Emergency Networks (OPEN)
Introduction to the New IPAWS-OPEN Developer’s Guide
Wednesday January 18, 2012 12:00 Noon Eastern

IPAWS-OPEN enables the interoperable sharing of emergency alerts and incident-related data between systems that comply with non-proprietary information standards, and serves as the alert aggregator for the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

During our next Webinar, System Architect Gary Ham will provide an introduction and overview of the new IPAWS-OPEN Developer’s Guide. The purpose of the guide is to help developers successfully write IPAWS-OPEN interoperable code.

This program is intended primarily for third party IPAWS-OPEN developers and testers. Please make plans to join us via Live Meeting. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

IMPORTANT: The audio portion of the program will be delivered via your computer speakers. The Live Meeting client must be used in order to receive the audio. Please review the instructions available from: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/livemtginstruct.pdf prior to the program.

Login to MS Live Meeting for visuals: The following login link can only be used 30 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting time: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/eiip/join?id=DMprogram&role=attend

If you are unable to attend this month’s program due to other commitments, a recording will be accessible from the FEMA Library.

IPAWS Alerting Course for Alerting Authorities Now Available

FEMA has announced its new course for Alerting Authorities. Alert Origination Software developers/vendors may also find the course useful to understand the context of alerting via IPAWS-OPEN to EAS, CMAS, and NOAA Radio. The course is required for alerting authorities as a pre-requisite for getting Alerting Authority for IPAWS push dissemination, but it also provides info for developers as they define requirements for the software they build. Here is the notification that I received:

The FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) program office has worked with FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and subject matter experts to create a course that provides alert and warning training. This course (IS-247) is now available at no cost on-line. See http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is247.asp

IS-247 provides basic information on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The goal of this course is to provide public safety officials with: increased awareness of the benefits of using IPAWS for effective public warnings; skills to draft more appropriate, effective, and accessible warning messages; and best practices in the effective use of Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to reach all members of their communities. The course is expected to take 2 hours to complete and includes a final exam.

Regional, State and Local alerting authorities must successfully complete this course prior to being authorized to use IPAWS OPEN to send alerts via EAS, mobile devices, and other communications pathways. Although the course is designed primarily for emergency management, law enforcement, fire services, dispatch, and other public safety personnel, anyone wishing to learn more about IPAWS may take the course.

The National EAS Test and IPAWS-OPEN

Funny thing about the national test held on Wednesday 9 November. It was a test of the old stuff; not the new. IPAWS-OPEN and the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) were not even part of the test. It worked – with glitches – but it worked. The glitches seemed to be mostly about garbled messages and misinterpreted tones; things that the text and Internet-based IPAWS-OPEN solution are designed to prevent. I am confident that the next test, when it happens, will go MUCH better from that standpoint.

The comments about the national test that were most amusing were the ones that connected the National test with an attempt by the federal Government to “take over the airwaves and the Internet.” The internet was not even used. I am not going to comment on whether the Government wants to regulate (or over-regulate) the Internet. That may, or may not be, depending on your personal political perspective. What I can say his that FEMA’s IPAWS program is absolutely not involved in that sort of activity. Input can come from the president, but it can also come from local authorities at all levels of government using alert origination tools provided mostly by private industry. Dissemination is the same. It is primarily voluntary; using a Government provided query architecture that allows local agencies and information providers to weed out unwanted material, making it the very opposite of a Government forced content push. Finally, the “last mile distribution” is almost completely through commercial providers and/or a very wide variety local government controlled software from the commercial sector. So, while IPAWS is designed to provide a way for the president to get an emergency alert to as many people as possible at one time, its architecture is actually built with local alerting and local control at its very core. Check it out for yourself. I will be at the annual International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) convention in Las Vegas next week. Drop by the IPAWS booth to say “hi” and to get a live demonstration. Good stuff.

Upcoming NIEM NTE Presentation – Using NIEM Metadata in an EDXL-DE wrapper to Support IPAWS

If you work with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) as well as with other standards, you often run into issues related to how your overall work should incorporate (or not incorporate) NIEM. The rules for NIEM allow you to use recognized external standards independently. FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) does this with it implementation of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). You can also use components from an external Standard within a NIEM conforming schema, but only if you use the formally defined NIEM “Adapter” approach. You can also use NIEM inside an externally defined standard wrapper as shown in the graphic below. NIEM_In_Wrapper_Graphic-300x175

My talk at the NIEM National Training Event (NTE) in Philadelphia this August will discuss using an OASIS Emergency Data Exchange Language – Distribution Element (EDXL-DE) as a wrapper as shown, but it will go beyond that. It will show how NIEM conforming data structures can be used within the EDXL-DE wrapper itself as DE conforming metadata to describe the content and desired distribution of the Information Exchange Package (IEP). The goal is to show an innovative use of NIEM that is actually made possible by the (also) innovative structure designed into the EDXL-DE standard. The actual content of the IEP will be an IPAW Profile conforming CAP message. The wrapping DE will use NIEM conforming metadata to define IPAWS distribution and content identification needs.

IPAWS-OPEN Development MOA Holders

IPAWS has published the list of current MOA holders. This list is for development and does not indicate that any of them actually have a completed product. It does indicate interest, however, and a willingness to explore connectivity. See: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/projects.shtm#3