Franklin County Achieves Access to Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)

Contact: Franklin County Emergency Management Agency - Office of the Director - (618) 439-4EMA - information@franklincountyema.com 
 
(BENTON-ILLINOIS) Officials with the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency now have a new tool at their disposal since the agency gained access to the national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) earlier this month. During an emergency, officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. IPAWS is a modernization and integration of the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure, and will save time when time matters most, protecting life and property.  IPAWS provides emergency management officials with an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. Franklin County Emergency Management Agency has integrated IPAWS into the existing local warning platform the agency uses to send text and e-mail alerts called Nixle.
 
Prior to achieving access to the IPAWS system, local officials were required to contact the National Weather Service to request activation of the emergency alert system. "Integration of the IPAWS into our existing local warning platform will decrease the amount of time it takes for us to issue critical warning messages to the public", said Director Ryan M. Buckingham. The agency routinely issues a variety of local advisories via the Nixle system, however the activation of the IPAWS system will be reserved for life threatening emergencies only. 
 
Access to the IPAWS system was achieved by completing a vetting process and securing a use agreement with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency & United States Department of Homeland Security - FEMA. You can learn more about the IPAWS by visiting: https://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system
 
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