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Campaign Aims for Global Use of CAP

Goal is worldwide use of Common Alerting Protocol by 2025

A number of organizations with global interests are endorsing the idea of implementing Common Alerting Protocol as a standard emergency protocol, hoping to achieve universal use by 2025.

The World Broadcasting Unions is the latest. It announced that it “strongly endorses” a “Call to Action on Emergency Alerting.”

“The Call to Action requests a scale up of efforts to ensure that by 2025 all countries have the capacity for effective and authoritative emergency alerting that leverages the CAP, suitable for all media and all hazards,” WBU wrote.

“CAP makes public alerting faster, easier, less error-prone and more understandable. CAP helps a broadcaster be certain that an alert is authentic and authoritative, and to crosscheck alerts from diverse sources. CAP alerts can also be compiled on a map to show how different aspects of the emergency are evolving.”

Among those endorsing this idea is internet pioneer Vint Cerf. He noted that many online users may not receive messages designed for mass media dissemination.

“It easy for internet technologies to deliver CAP alerts to online users, and to life-saving online devices such as sirens, digital signage, bridge controls, bed shakers, etc.,” Cerf wrote in a comment posted on the campaign page. “Let’s build out a future where CAP-enabled alerting becomes a humanitarian feature of all major cloud services and computer operating systems worldwide.”

Organizations supporting this campaign include the International Telecommunication Union, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, AccuWeather and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

“The CAP uses XML digital standard format for exchanging emergency alerts that allow a consistent alert message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different communication systems,” as described on this Red Cross information page.

CAP is operational in all of North America and most of Europe. The campaign has posted a map showing which countries use CAP or have it under development.