Archive for the ‘IPAWS’ Category.

Finally, #WEA alerts through #IPAWS on my AT&…

Finally, #WEA alerts through #IPAWS on my AT&T iPhone. I can finally get the results of my own IPAWS efforts.

Warning Myself – Tornado Warnings from IPAWS

I recently wrote an application to pull the actual full alert connected to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) sent through IPAWS for counties in Virginia’s First Congressional District (where I live). The program then blog/tweets the details ( It is just a test app, but the NWS is posting actual alerts to the test environment I am monitoring. I was in my upstairs office when I got a tweet from @VA_1st_IPAWS of a tornado warning. Clicking on the blog revealed a tornado warning with my office in the direct path. So I went downstairs for safety (where I am now).

But,of course I never got the actual WEA, because I have an AT&T iPhone, and they have yet to work out issues with Apple. So, it looks like I will either have to go with a different carrier who has, or will have to go Android. PITA, to say the least.

Update: No damage to my home. Lots of trees down close by. Nice to be warned so I did not go out some where.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) as a Disaster Recovery Tip

WEA is alive and operational in a big way. The big carriers are fully up and running, as are many of the smaller ones. Currently working with some folks in Puerto Rico. Just finished with some folks serving Mississippi. Both will be ready for hurricanes this summer.

I also saw a nice description of WEA as a Disaster Recovery Tip on the Agility Recovery Web site. Check out:

Non Weather Emergency Message (NWEM) Event Code Definitions

If you need appropriate definitions for NWEM event codes check this link:

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-10-07

  • IPAWS contract gap. Hopefully back by next Monday. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-30

  • Last hour on current IPAWS support contract complete. Doing paperwork on future support. Enforced vacation ????? #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-16

  • @AWAREforum @u62 I do not dispute you, but IPAWS is not a message Originator. NWS is the Authority on WX. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-02

  • #IPAWS OPEN 3.02: Running Well in TDL. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-08-26

  • FEMA TDL for IPAWS-OPEN is down since yesterday night. Not staffed weekends. Expect back up Monday. #
  • IPAWS is UP in production and functioning normally. CMAS weather alerts will show on your WEA equipped cell phone. #
  • IPAWS TDL is working for posts. Only SOAP queries are failing. #

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 (
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.