Federal Emergency Alert Systems

The Federal Government maintains a number of Federal emergency alert systems managed by FEMA under the umbrella of the IPAWS program that may be used by Federal, Regional, or Local authorities to alert the public about emergency situations.

Learn more about the IPAWS System.


Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)

IPAWS is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public, including WEA to cell phones. FEMA partners with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the wireless industry to maintain a national alert and warning capability that distributes Presidential alerts, AMBER alerts, and imminent threat alerts (e.g., hurricanes and tornadoes, where life or property is at risk).




EAS Emergency Alert System

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national system used by alerting authorities to send warnings via broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline communications pathways. EAS participants consist of broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireless providers, The EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools.  It is not necessary for individuals to sign up to receive these alerts.


Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) System

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.  The EAS is also a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency.

WEA warnings are sent to mobile devices when you may be in harm’s way, without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service.


NOAA Weather Radio

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) delivers alerts through the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


National Weather Service