Public Warning

Prompt and efficient public warnings of natural or manmade disasters empower citizens to take action to save lives, reduce losses, and speed recovery. A wide variety of systems exist or are under development that can deliver warnings to people at risk no matter where they are or what they are doing. What has been missing is an efficient and secure way for all authorized officials to input warnings to these delivery systems. A basic installation of such a national warning capability could have been implemented for less than $10 million since at least 2003. Here are the primary reports, which I have been involved in, that give the background, logic, and implementation details. I participated in writing the GDIN report and led the development of all but the last three PPW reports.

Report by the Disaster Information Task Force:

Harnessing Information and Technology for Disaster Management (GDIN), November 1997 PDF

Report by the Working Group on Natural Disater Information Systems (NDIS):

Effective Disaster Warnings, March 2000        Click to download PDF

Reports by the Partnership for Public Warning (PPW):

The Homeland Security Advisory System, a Report to the FBI, April 2002. PDF

Improving the Effectiveness of the Homeland Security Advisory System, July 2002 PDF

Developing a Unified All-Hazard Public Warning System, November 2002. PDF

A National Strategy for Integrated Public Warning Policy and Capability, May 2003. PDF

Accessing And Originating Warnings From Consequence Management Tools, May 2003. PDF

The Emergency Alert System (EAS): An Assessment, February 2004. PDF

Protecting America’s Communities: An Introduction to Public Alert & Warning, February 2004. PDF

Partnership for Public Warning Comments Concerning the FCC Review of the Emergency Alert System, August 2004. PDF

Alerting America: A Directory Of Public Warning Products, Services & Technologies, October 2004. PDF

Testimony by Peter L. Ward to the House Select Committee on Homeland
      Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness and Response,
      September 22, 2004 

Testimony      PDF

Answers to Questions      PDF

Some Related Reports and Websites

Communication Protocols and Risk Communication Principles Can Assist in Refining the Advisory System (GAO)  PDF

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings (CRS) PDF

The Cellular Emergency Alert Systems Association (CEAS@) www

The Common Alerting Protocol www

The Community Warning System, Contra Costa County, California www

The Emergency Alert System (FCC) www

The Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) www

The Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) www