TEMA Successfully Executes Emergency Alert On Next Generation Public Warning System
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) issued the state’s first locally-generated wireless alert over the weekend for an incident in Moore County using new software that will distribute warning messages through multiple channels.
At noon on Saturday, TEMA distributed the wireless alert message about a planned county-wide power outage to Moore County residents, and residents in part of Lincoln County, using the federal Integrated Public Alert and Warning Systems (IPAWS). TEMA delivered the message to residents’ cell phones to let them know their power would be out at 12 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 for about four hours. The alert message supported local outreach efforts to let Moore County residents know about the outage and what to do to prepare.
“Supporting local emergency managers in warning the public just became more effective,” said TEMA Director Jim Bassham. “Local agencies can now inform the public about emergencies by directing alerts to cell phones, weather radios and broadcast networks. When emergencies cross multiple counties or a local agency needs help distributing a public warning, TEMA will have the same capability.”
Along with TEMA, 35 local entities in Tennessee have become IPAWS authorized alerting agencies. Local IPAWS alerting authorities include Metro Nashville, the Cleveland and Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, the Crossville and Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency and the City of Dyersburg.
“This is a great capability for local emergency manager and agencies,” said Jason Deal director of the Moore County Emergency Management Agency. “Having multiple channels for distributing warnings makes us more effective in our efforts to protect the public.”
IPAWS modernizes the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure to save time in protecting life and property during emergencies. Federal, state, territorial, tribal and local alerting authorities can use IPAWS to 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 point.
September is National Preparedness Month and as the lead State of Tennessee agency for promoting personal preparedness, TEMA is working directly with local emergency management agencies and other local authorities to help the public be prepared for the next disaster.