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Board of County Commissioners

IPAWS – Integrated Public Alert & Warning System

IPAWS logo

Emergency Alerts from Douglas County

In the event of a local emergency – including a natural or man-made disaster – your local public safety officials will activate timely and reliable communications, alerting you with information important to you and your family, as well as to your community.

Depending on the emergency, you may receive a CodeRed™ alert as well a notification via social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter™ and Nextdoor™.

Most emergency alerts and warnings issued by Douglas County public safety officials will arrive via the CodeRED™ system.

New to Douglas County’s emergency alerts is the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a modernization and integration of our nation’s alert and warning infrastructure that will save time when time matters most, protecting life and property.

Unlike other Douglas County notifications, IPAWS alerts and warnings are only issued to individual citizens by your local public agency in the occurrence of a very large or very dangerous emergency or disaster event. The knowledge shared via an IPAWS alert allows citizens to take proper action which can save lives.

IPAWS Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)

What you need to know about IPAWS WEAs:

  • WEAs can be sent by local and state public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States
  • WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – local imminent threat, AMBER alerts, and presidential alerts
  • WEAs look like text messages but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe or to “opt-in”
  • When public safety authorities launch a WEA, the alert will be automatically sent to all smartphones in the designated alert area

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

    • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is also provided by IPAWS.
    • EAS may be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas via radio and television broadcasts
    • EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication
    • The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated.
    • FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises.

For additional information please visit: fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system