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Wireless Emergency Alerts Michael Gerber NOAA/National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD NWS Partners Meeting August 5, 2013 Michael Gerber NOAA/National.

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Presentation on theme: "Wireless Emergency Alerts Michael Gerber NOAA/National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD NWS Partners Meeting August 5, 2013 Michael Gerber NOAA/National."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wireless Emergency Alerts Michael Gerber NOAA/National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD NWS Partners Meeting August 5, 2013 Michael Gerber NOAA/National Weather Service Silver Spring, MD NWS Partners Meeting August 5, 2013

2 Overview NWS WEA activation Statistics and feedback Examples of lives saved Opportunities to improve Getting the word out NWS WEA activation Statistics and feedback Examples of lives saved Opportunities to improve Getting the word out 2

3 WEA Messages Originated by NWS Warning Type CMAS Message Tsunami Warning (coming late 2013) 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 Legend tzT = timezone ddd= three letter abbreviation for day of the week

4 NWS Warnings Activating WEA (Approximate) Severe Weather Season

5 WEA Credited with Saving Lives 5 WEA messages received within seconds of warning issuance Elmira, NY (July 26, 2012) – 10 mile tornado structures damaged. No major injuries. Adairsville, Georgia (Jan 29, 2013) – Vehicles stopped on I-75. Watched tornado cross highway. Jefferson Co, MS (Feb 21, 2013) – Woman looked outside and saw tornado backlit by lightning. Family got in the bathtub. Tornado heavily damaged bedroom where they would’ve been sleeping. Yell and Pope County, Arkansas (Apr 10, 2013) – “I would have drove right into it. I was able to stop and keep others at the store from driving into it with the info from the alert. Despite limited cell service, I received cell alerts and was able to take cover in Jessieville and avoid driving into the brunt of the storm.” – Red Cross Emergency Manager East Windsor, CT (July 1, 2013) – Up to 34 lives saved (29 children). Tornado WEA prompted soccer dome manager to evacuate everyone. Seconds later, dome thrown high above highway. WEA messages received within seconds of warning issuance Elmira, NY (July 26, 2012) – 10 mile tornado structures damaged. No major injuries. Adairsville, Georgia (Jan 29, 2013) – Vehicles stopped on I-75. Watched tornado cross highway. Jefferson Co, MS (Feb 21, 2013) – Woman looked outside and saw tornado backlit by lightning. Family got in the bathtub. Tornado heavily damaged bedroom where they would’ve been sleeping. Yell and Pope County, Arkansas (Apr 10, 2013) – “I would have drove right into it. I was able to stop and keep others at the store from driving into it with the info from the alert. Despite limited cell service, I received cell alerts and was able to take cover in Jessieville and avoid driving into the brunt of the storm.” – Red Cross Emergency Manager East Windsor, CT (July 1, 2013) – Up to 34 lives saved (29 children). Tornado WEA prompted soccer dome manager to evacuate everyone. Seconds later, dome thrown high above highway. Warning: Extreme language in this video

6 Opportunities for Improvement Hone in on optimal WEA activation to minimize alert fatigue/opt-outs Current NWS activation by event type, but exploring options which allow flexibility with flash floods, blizzards, ice storms, dust storms, etc. Consistency- Android users can opt-out of severe and still get extreme WEA, but not iPhone NWS to participate in new FCC Federal/industry working group on WEA Better convey actual warning area to WEA for NWS zone based warnings WEA targeting counties (FIPS), since WEA only understands FIPS, polygons, and circles Polygons would be optimal Derecho service assessment recommends activation for extreme thunderstorms Hone in on optimal WEA activation to minimize alert fatigue/opt-outs Current NWS activation by event type, but exploring options which allow flexibility with flash floods, blizzards, ice storms, dust storms, etc. Consistency- Android users can opt-out of severe and still get extreme WEA, but not iPhone NWS to participate in new FCC Federal/industry working group on WEA Better convey actual warning area to WEA for NWS zone based warnings WEA targeting counties (FIPS), since WEA only understands FIPS, polygons, and circles Polygons would be optimal Derecho service assessment recommends activation for extreme thunderstorms 6 iPhone Android

7 Getting the Word Out 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 New Ready/FEMA /Ad Council PSAs –:30 Spot: –:15 Spot: –Spanish Version: CTIA links to WEA information for each major carrier at ctia.org/wea NWS FAQ at weather.gov/wirelessalerts Contact your wireless carrier for more information 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 New Ready/FEMA /Ad Council PSAs –:30 Spot: –:15 Spot: –Spanish Version: CTIA links to WEA information for each major carrier at ctia.org/wea NWS FAQ at weather.gov/wirelessalerts Contact your wireless carrier for more information 7

8 WEA PSAs Launched May second spot30 second spot Spanish 30 second FCC allows broadcast or transmission of a simulated WEA in PSAs developed by FEMA.

9 Questions 9

10 Flash Flood Warning Immediate Severe Likely T14:00:00-05: T17:00:00-05:00 NWS Memphis (Western Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas and Northern Mississippi) Flash Flood Warning issued June 03 at 2:00PM CDT valid until June 03 at 5:00PM CDT by NWS Memphis DOPPLER RADAR ESTIMATES 1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAINFALL HAS OCCURRED OVER THE PAST HOUR… MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY…TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN 36.20, , , , , , , , , , , , CMAMtext Flash Flood Warning this area til 5:00 PM CDT. Avoid flood areas. Check local media. -NWS Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Drives WEA GIS Friendly XML-based industry standard = low cost of entry for commercial developers Alert information at its most granular levels

11 CAP Production 11 NWS T18:55:42-06:00 Actual Alert Public IPAWSv1.0 Met Flash Flood Warning Avoid Immediate Severe Likely SAME FFW T18:55:42-06: T18:55:00-06: T21:00:00-06:00 NWS Albuquerque NM Flash Flood Warning issued July 31 at 6:55PM MDT expiring July 31 at 9:00PM MDT by NWS Albuquerque NM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR... SOUTHEASTERN ROOSEVELT COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL NEW MEXICO WGUS55 KABQ FFWABQ NMC /O.NEW.KABQ.FF.W T0055Z T0300Z/ / ER T0000Z T0000Z T0000Z.OO/ BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED FLASH FLOOD WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM 655 PM MDT WED JUL THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR... SOUTHEASTERN ROOSEVELT COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL NEW MEXICO * UNTIL 900 PM MDT * AT 653 PM MDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED VERY HEAVY RAIN FROM A THUNDERSTORM 7 MILES WEST OF LINGO...OR ABOUT 30 MILES SOUTH OF PORTALES. THE STORM PRODUCING VERY HEAVY RAIN WAS NEARLY STATIONARY. 2 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN WITH THIS STORM. FLASH FLOODING IS LIKELY ALONG COUNTY ROAD 33 WEST OF LINGO AS WELL AS STATE HIGHWAY 114. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... DO NOT DRIVE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. MANY FLASH FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. && LAT...LON WMO CAP Convert NowHazard Services (future) CAP NWS T18:55:42-06:00 Actual Alert Public IPAWSv1.0 Met Flash Flood Warning Avoid Immediate Severe Likely SAME FFW T18:55:42-06: T18:55:00-06: T21:00:00-06:00 NWS Albuquerque NM Flash Flood Warning issued July 31 at 6:55PM MDT expiring July 31 at 9:00PM MDT by NWS Albuquerque NM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR... SOUTHEASTERN ROOSEVELT COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL NEW MEXICO

12 WEA is a bell ringer and doesn’t replace other alerting systems While WEA is new, early results are promising as lives saved Occasional hiccups and opportunities to improve, service evolving “Big Four” carriers performing better than required by the FCC regulations by geotargeting WEA broadcasts at the sub-county level More work needed by all partners to get the word out about WEA WEA is a bell ringer and doesn’t replace other alerting systems While WEA is new, early results are promising as lives saved Occasional hiccups and opportunities to improve, service evolving “Big Four” carriers performing better than required by the FCC regulations by geotargeting WEA broadcasts at the sub-county level More work needed by all partners to get the word out about WEA 12


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