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Wireless Emergency Alerts: New York City Demonstration

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posted on 2023-05-11, 21:33 authored by Elizabeth Tracki Stark, Jennifer Lavan, Tamara Marshall-KeimTamara Marshall-Keim, Joseph P. Elm

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service is anew national capability for delivering geographically targeted alerts to the public on all mobile phones. This report describes the adoption of WEA by the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM). NYC OEM was the  first alert originator to adopt WEA, so the agency experienced some unique challenges. These challenges included finding software compatible with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, of which WEA is a component; obtaining emergency alerting authority from FEMA; and demonstrating use of the new WEA system from end to end. NYC OEM's experiences also offer other alert originators information that can guide their own adoption and integ­ration of WEA, including coordinating alerting authority with local and neighboring jurisdictions, handling the challenges presented by geotargeting and the 90-character limit, and informing the public about what to expect from WEA. An interview with NYC OEM's information security officer covers organizational learning in the areas of  resources, staff buy-in,public outreach, technology, standard operating  procedures, and staff training. 

This material is based on work funded and supported by Department of Homeland Security and is also available in the DHS Technology Documents Library. 


Department of Homeland Security


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This material is based upon work funded and supported by the Department of Defense under Contract No. FA8702-15-D-0002 with Carnegie Mellon University for the operation of the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center. The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this material are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Government position, policy, or decision, unless designated by other documentation. References herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Carnegie Mellon University or its Software Engineering Institute. This report was prepared for the SEI Administrative Agent AFLCMC/AZS 5 Eglin Street Hanscom AFB, MA 01731-2100. NO WARRANTY. THIS CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INSTITUTE MATERIAL IS FURNISHED ON AN "AS-IS" BASIS. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY MAKES NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO ANY MATTER INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR PURPOSE OR MERCHANTABILITY, EXCLUSIVITY, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM USE OF THE MATERIAL. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY DOES NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO FREEDOM FROM PATENT, TRADEMARK, OR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. [DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A] This material has been approved for public release and unlimited distribution. Please see Copyright notice for non-US Government use and distribution.

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Copyright 2014 Carnegie Mellon University.

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