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FEMA Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Wireless Emergency Alerts

FEMA’s Integrated Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which allows authorized government agencies to reach the public via cell phones during emergencies.

In 2007, FEMA began modernizing the nation’s public alert and warning system by integrating new technologies into existing alert systems. The new system, IPAWS, began operation in 2011. The first WEA was sent June 28, 2012 by the National Weather Service for a Flash Flood Warning in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Since 2012, Alerting Authorities have sent over 70,000 WEAs to warn of imminent threats to public safety.

Today, IPAWS supports more than 1,700 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial users of WEA, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), non-weather emergency messages via NOAA Weather Radio, and digital media via the IPAWS All-Hazards Information Feed.

A brief video of FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell speaking about the WEA anniversary is available at IPAWS 10th Anniversary Video - YouTube.