Integrated Public Alert and Warning System

Contact: Kelly Ruiz 307-777-4909 kelly.ruiz@wyo.gov

FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) program provides a method for local authorities to send warnings within their jurisdiction.

IPAWS differs from "opt in" services in that it does not require a subscription and will send a warning out via cell phones and the Emergency Alert System (radio, television). The alert is disseminated based on cell phone towers. So even visitors to your county will receive a notification.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are a component of the IPAWS program. Alerting authorities will be able to send WEA alerts to cell phones, even when cellular networks are overloaded.

The WEA will send concise, text- like messages to users’ WEA- capable mobile devices. There are different kinds of alerts:

  • Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President or a designee;
  • Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes, etc., where an imminent threat to life or property exists;
  • Public Safety Alerts – Alerts that include 911 outages or other public safety messages;
  • AMBER Alerts – Alerts that meet the U.S. Department of Justice’s criteria to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.

While these alerts will appear on a person’s mobile device similar to a text message, Wireless Emergency Alerts are not text messages. Instead, Wireless Emergency Alerts use a different kind of technology to ensure they are delivered immediately and are not subjected to potential congestion (or delays) on wireless networks.

Many counties in Wyoming also utilize subscription based alerting systems. Which means you have to sign up to receive alerts. To see if your county offers a subscription based service see the list of counties and contacts.