3.1 Unlocking the Future of Wireless Emergency Alerts

Monday, 11 January 2016: 4:00 PM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Michael Gerber, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and R. Bunge and H. L. White

NOAA's Weather-Ready Nation is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. The National Weather Service (NWS) disseminates its most critical warnings to FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for broadcast to Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) capable cell phones. NWS activation of WEA has been credited by emergency managers and news organizations for saving many lives. WEA represents an innovative partnership where the Federal Government, commercial wireless industry, emergency management community, and academia are working together to save lives. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reviewed recommendations from the WEA partners describing how advances in technology, social science, and impact-based warning could be leveraged to improve public response to WEA in the coming years. This paper will describe some of the techniques being employed to improve WEA, outcomes from the FCC's review, and important improvements which may lie ahead.>
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