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COVID-19 Information for National Emergency Training Center Students

Note: effective July 28, 2021, all Federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status or level of COVID transmission in your local area, are required to wear a mask inside all DHS workspaces and Federal buildings.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to monitor the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it relates to COVID-19. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the CDC is encouraging organizations to promote social distancing, hold meetings via videoconferencing, reduce non-essential travel, and adjust or postpone events and gatherings. We also continue to evaluate the local and national situation and will provide regular updates.

Students will be notified in advance concerning the status of their on-campus course offering.

We thank you for your understanding, and we invite you to visit our extensive catalog of Independent Study Courses as well as classroom courses available by virtual delivery.

IS-251.A: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for Alerting Administrators

Course Date


Course Overview

This course provides information on Integrated Public Alert and Warning Systems (IPAWS) for Alerting Administrators. The goal of this course is to provide guidance to those becoming authorized Alerting Administrators for IPAWS by:

  • Developing effective policies, plans, and procedures
  • Defining the approval process
  • Defining the importance of training, practice, and exercising with IPAWS
  • Illustrating best practices and effective use of IPAWS to reach members of the public

Course Objectives:

  1. 1. Introduction to IPAWS
    • Define the roles and types of Alerting Authorities
    • Define IPAWS aggregator and the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) format
    • Define IPAWS dissemination pathways
    • Identify the policies, laws, and regulations applicable to IPAWS
  2. 2. Alerting Administrators
    • Identify the training, practicing, and exercising requirements for becoming an Alerting Authority
    • Identify the importance of a Memorandum of Agreement
    • Categorize the authorization and coordination required to establish IPAWS Public Alert Authority
    • Identify the need to acquire a Compatible Alerting Software
    • Examine the outcome of the IPAWS Application Process
  3. 3. Implementation
    • Determine the importance of the development and use of internal plans, policies, and procedures for alert and warning
    • Identify considerations for internal stakeholders when developing plans, policies, and procedures for alert and warning
    • Identify considerations for external stakeholders when developing plans, policies, and procedures for alert and warning
    • Identify considerations for Alerting Administrators (e.g., public outreach, social media and education campaigns) when developing plans, policies, and procedures for alert and warning
  4. 4. Technical and Operational Components
    • Recognize the need for vendor training and the need for 24/7/365 support
    • Determine the importance of security and access control
    • Identify the elements of an effective alerting tool
  5. 5. Alerting Best Practices
    • Compare factors that influence public response to alert and warning messages
    • Identify how culture, demographics, location, and hazards affect IPAWS messages
    • Identify the process of validating message templates through testing
  6. 6. Event Codes
    • Identify message pathways
    • Contrast relationship between event codes and handling codes
    • Select the constraints that broadcast partners and alerting situations impose on IPAWS
  7. 7. Training, Practicing, and Exercising for Alert Administrators
    • Define training, practice, and exercises for Alerting Administrators
    • Categorize the benefits of training, practice, and exercises for Alerting Administrators
    • Identify the considerations for frequency of training, practicing, and exercising for Alerting Administrators
    • Identify how the IPAWS Training and Demonstration Environment can be incorporated into training, practice, and exercises for Alerting Administrators





Course Length:

2 hours
Take This Course
Take Final Exam
  • Test questions are scrambled to protect test integrity
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