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1 CAP Weather Messages Triggering Cellular Alerts in the U.S. Robert Bunge U.S. National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD, USA Robert.

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Presentation on theme: "1 CAP Weather Messages Triggering Cellular Alerts in the U.S. Robert Bunge U.S. National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD, USA Robert."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CAP Weather Messages Triggering Cellular Alerts in the U.S. Robert Bunge U.S. National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD, USA Robert Bunge U.S. National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD, USA WMO, ITU, OASIS CAP IMPLEMENTATION WORKSHOP GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 23/24 April 2013

2 Overview Background U.S. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) Lessons Learned –Being Prepared –Conduct Outreach –Monitor Feedback Future Plans Summary Background U.S. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) Lessons Learned –Being Prepared –Conduct Outreach –Monitor Feedback Future Plans Summary 2

3 Background US NWS started to send brief warning messages to cell phones in affected areas in June 2012 using FEMA operated network Alert data is contained in CAP message US created custom parameters as needed CAP messages now being disseminated via other systems US NWS started to send brief warning messages to cell phones in affected areas in June 2012 using FEMA operated network Alert data is contained in CAP message US created custom parameters as needed CAP messages now being disseminated via other systems 3

4 U.S. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Weather Alert Types –More about message content on later slides Weather Alert Types –More about message content on later slides 4 Warning Type WEA Message that appears on phone Tsunami Warning Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland. Check local media. –NWS Tornado Warning Tornado Warning in this area til hh:mm tzT. Take shelter now. Check local media. –NWS Extreme Wind Warning Extreme Wind Warning this area til hh:mm tzT ddd. Take shelter. – NWS Flash Flood Warning Flash Flood Warning this area til hh:mm tzT. Avoid flooded areas. Check local media. -NWS Hurricane Warning Hurricane Warning this area til hh:mm tzT ddd. Check local media and authorities. -NWS Typhoon Warning Typhoon Warning this area til hh:mm tzT ddd. Check local media and authorities. -NWS Blizzard Warning Blizzard Warning this area til hh:mm tzT ddd. Prepare. Avoid Travel. Check media. -NWS Ice Storm Warning Ice Storm Warning this area til hh:mm tzT ddd. Prepare. Avoid Travel. Check media. -NWS Dust Storm Warning Dust Storm Warning in this area til hh:mm tzT ddd. Avoid travel. Check local media. -NWS

5 5 IPAWS – Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Operated by US Federal Emergency Management Agency Collects alerts in CAP format from all levels of government

6 Lessons Learned Effective CAP alerting is much more than implementing CAP technical standards Being Prepared –Research –Message Content –Originator Proficiency –Regular Testing Conduct Outreach Monitoring & Feedback Effective CAP alerting is much more than implementing CAP technical standards Being Prepared –Research –Message Content –Originator Proficiency –Regular Testing Conduct Outreach Monitoring & Feedback 6

7 Lessons Learned: Being Prepared 7

8 Research Understand cell broadcast technology(s) used –Work directly with the cellular carriers in your area –Learn how alert broadcast areas are determined –Learn handset capability, current and projected for your technology –Learn handset refresh rate – when will most consumers be able to receive alerts? Understand limitations (technical and policy) –Develop services and expectations around them Understand cell broadcast technology(s) used –Work directly with the cellular carriers in your area –Learn how alert broadcast areas are determined –Learn handset capability, current and projected for your technology –Learn handset refresh rate – when will most consumers be able to receive alerts? Understand limitations (technical and policy) –Develop services and expectations around them 8

9 Lessons Learned: Message Content 9

10 MESSAGE CONTENT Choose U-S-C and response Type carefully Urgency, Severity, and Certainty elements must be at their two highest levels to trigger WEA 10 Urgency -Immediate -Expected -Future -Past -Unknown Severity -Extreme -Severe -Moderate -Minor -Unknown Certainty -Observed -Likely -Possible -Unlikely -Unknown WEA will not be triggered if chosen responseType is “None” WEA message can be prevented with IPAWS channelBlock parameter WEA will not be triggered if chosen responseType is “None” WEA message can be prevented with IPAWS channelBlock parameter

11 MESSAGE CONTENT NWS Custom CAP Parameters 11

12 MESSAGE CONTENT CMAMText for custom WEA message Custom parameter for US IPAWS system Have templates for custom message Messages issued by NYC during October 2012 superstorm –“MANDATORY EVACUATION Zone A, Rockaways, Hamilton Bch, City Is. NYC.gov or 311 for details” –“Emergency Alert in this area until 8:00 AM GMT Take Shelter Now NYC_OEM” –Go indoors immediately and remain inside. DO NOT DRIVE. Call for emergencies only. Custom parameter for US IPAWS system Have templates for custom message Messages issued by NYC during October 2012 superstorm –“MANDATORY EVACUATION Zone A, Rockaways, Hamilton Bch, City Is. NYC.gov or 311 for details” –“Emergency Alert in this area until 8:00 AM GMT Take Shelter Now NYC_OEM” –Go indoors immediately and remain inside. DO NOT DRIVE. Call for emergencies only. 12 Alert Message Content (90 characters) - What - Where - When - How (to respond) - Who (says)

13 MESSAGE CONTENT Use of polygon to describe threat area 13 Increase value and relevance of warning Compared to warning by county, polygon warnings can reduce warned area by 70% to 97%, especially in Western U.S. NWS started using polygon warnings October 1, 2007 Tornado Warnings (trigger WEA) Flash Flood Warnings (trigger WEA) Severe Thunderstorm Warnings Special Marine Warnings Severe Weather Statements Flash Flood Statements Marine Weather Statements Increase value and relevance of warning Compared to warning by county, polygon warnings can reduce warned area by 70% to 97%, especially in Western U.S. NWS started using polygon warnings October 1, 2007 Tornado Warnings (trigger WEA) Flash Flood Warnings (trigger WEA) Severe Thunderstorm Warnings Special Marine Warnings Severe Weather Statements Flash Flood Statements Marine Weather Statements 13

14 Originator Proficiency Online Training (FEMA Course IS-247) –Introduction to system –Appropriate, Effective, and Accessible Alert and Warning Messages –Common Alerting Protocol Message Composition Practice and Drill Online Training (FEMA Course IS-247) –Introduction to system –Appropriate, Effective, and Accessible Alert and Warning Messages –Common Alerting Protocol Message Composition Practice and Drill 14

15 Regular Testing Test processes in a test environment –Both NWS and FEMA have test environments that process real data all the time Validate system response is as expected Test processes in a test environment –Both NWS and FEMA have test environments that process real data all the time Validate system response is as expected 15 IPAWS

16 Conduct Outreach Set realistic expectations – WEA Is a bell ringer, not a replacement for traditional warning systems Create one-page web/social media/handout preparemetrokc.org/WirelessEmergencyAlertFlier.pdf Media interviews, school and government officials, community events, Public Service Announcements Government agency and industry association links to outreach information for each major carrier – example: Develop FAQs – example: Cell users should contact their carrier regarding WEA capability, to report issues, or seek assistance Set realistic expectations – WEA Is a bell ringer, not a replacement for traditional warning systems Create one-page web/social media/handout preparemetrokc.org/WirelessEmergencyAlertFlier.pdf Media interviews, school and government officials, community events, Public Service Announcements Government agency and industry association links to outreach information for each major carrier – example: Develop FAQs – example: Cell users should contact their carrier regarding WEA capability, to report issues, or seek assistance 16

17 Monitor Feedback Social media Call centers Family and friends Calls and s to originating authority Social media Call centers Family and friends Calls and s to originating authority 17

18 Current and Future Plans NWS CAP messages now being disseminated via two satellite systems in parallel with traditional text alerts Newest version will soon be on NWS websites via ATOM index feeds Better descriptive language of impacted areas Allow originating meteorologist to custom tailor message NWS CAP messages now being disseminated via two satellite systems in parallel with traditional text alerts Newest version will soon be on NWS websites via ATOM index feeds Better descriptive language of impacted areas Allow originating meteorologist to custom tailor message 18

19 Summary NWS has been using CAP to send short messages to cell phones located in impacted areas since June 2012 Early results are positive with some affected citizens crediting system to saving lives Lessons learned center less around the technology and more around the message content and public outreach NWS has been using CAP to send short messages to cell phones located in impacted areas since June 2012 Early results are positive with some affected citizens crediting system to saving lives Lessons learned center less around the technology and more around the message content and public outreach 19


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