Mark Peterson - Host: I'm Mark Peterson and this is 'Before, During and After', a podcast from FEMA. Mark Peterson – Host: In 2012, FEMA created the WEA capability, or Wireless Emergency Alerts capability, to send alerts and warning messages through the agency’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, also called IPAWS. If you have a cell phone, you’ve likely heard one of these alerts. And on the other end of that alert have been emergencies of all kinds. In fact, over 62 thousand WEA alerts have been sent by alerting authorities across the country. On today’s episode, we’ll talk about the countless ways the program has saved lives and where the program is headed with Antwane Johnson, a FEMA employee that has lead the program since its inception 10 years ago. Mark Peterson – Host: So FEMA’s celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Wireless Emergency Alerts and to talk about some of the just incredible achievements that have occurred over the last 10 years, we have Antwane Johnson from the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System program. Thanks so much Antwane for joining me. Antwane Johnson: Thank you, Mark, and thanks for having me this afternoon. Mark Peterson – Host: So we're gonna spend some time talking about just what a great accomplishment 10 years of this program has been. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about what the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System is and what it's not. So talk me through what the program is and what it means to alerting authorities. Antwane Johnson: Good. Thank you, Mark, and would be happy to do that. You know just to just to step back a little in history to kind of arrive at where we are today. You know, we go all the way back to like 1951, 71 years ago when you know we just started to explore this concept of emergency alerting. Which began with the CONELRAD program otherwise known as the as the Control of Electromagnetic Radiation Program established by President Truman. And from that time we have continued to evolve alerting in the nation over the last 71 years to arrive at a point in time where we think we have a fairly robust and comprehensive alerting capability to serve the needs of communities who are faced with threats to their safety. And so IPAWS is a integrated, interoperable capability that really came about as a result of an executive order that was issued by President Bush in 2006. And that was done in response to a fair amount of criticism that the federal government, state and locals as well received in response to Hurricane Katrina. And so with that, President Bush issued Executive Order 13-407, which tasked the Secretary of Homeland Security, of course, which was delegated down to FEMA to implement, but tasked us with developing this integrated comprehensive alert and warning capability to first of all ensure that the President could communicate with the American public under all conditions, and then secondly, with the passage of the IPAWS Modernization Act of 2015 signed into law by President Obama, tasked us with extending these same national capabilities down the state and local governments for their use. And of course, as we look at how alerting has evolved over the last 71 years, the initial capability consisted of just broadcast television and radio. And so that was a primary means of reaching people when there was something potential threat to their safety. And of course, a little later in time came NOAA Weather Radio for severe weather warnings and things like that that the National Weather Service would issue in response to severe weather events. But with the creation of the program really in 2006 by executive order, uh, it tasked us with evolving or improving upon our capability and almost coincidentally with that, the Congress passed what was called the WARN Act, the Warning and Response Network Act, and tasked the FCC with writing rules, and really, I think encourage the wireless carriers to participate in what was called, at that time, the Commercial Mobile Alerting System. And of course that has evolved and the name has changed to Wireless Emergency Alerts today. Which is a tremendous capability that's being utilized by all 50 States and over 15 or 16 hundred counties to include some private sector entities that are leveraging that service to keep people informed about threats and their communities. Mark Peterson – Host: I think that anybody who is a fan of history is just gonna, you know, love kind of thinking about what t

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