The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) today announced the award of $1,542,113 through its Long-Range Broad Agency Announcement (LRBAA) program to Corner Alliance, Inc., to develop an Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications (AWN) Guidance Tool.
As emergency communications technologies adapt to an increasingly interconnected nation, this tool will build upon DHS S&T’s partnership with FEMA in creating the IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit, aimed at assisting public safety agencies in minimizing alerting delays; planning for future alerts, warnings and notifications enhancements; facilitating interoperability across different technologies; and improving information sharing among emergency management and public safety officials.
“From the devastating wildfires on the West Coast to the very active Atlantic/Caribbean 2020 hurricane season to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, there is a growing need to push actionable information out quickly to the public in order to save lives,” said Antwane Johnson, director of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) office.
The program planning app, which will be available through a portal at FEMA’s website, is expected to provide customized resources, best practices and program templates to address the most pressing challenges of alert originators, helping public safety agencies at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels disseminate emergency and life-saving information.
“First responders rely on information to make life saving decisions, often with very little time to spare,” noted William Bryan, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “This tool will help public safety agencies respond quickly and decisively during emergencies or catastrophic events, and that allows the greater homeland security enterprise to be more prepared and resilient.”