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FEMA Seeks Public Comment on EAS Proposal

The action is a stepping-stone to an eventual next-gen alerting system

The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants to hear from you about the open standards process for the Emergency Alert System and specifically the coming upgrade to the Common Alerting Protocol.

This is the next step in the process to upgrading emergency alerts to a next-gen public warning system. The goal is to allow the president and authorized officials to send alerts using television, radio, wireless and wired telephone, e-mail and other communications technologies.

FEMA asks emergency management industries, state and tribal leaders and first responders to review and comment on the open standardization process for EAS CAP.

The CAP format for exchanging alerts allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over different warning systems.

Through May 2, emergency management stakeholders can submit comments online about the EAS CAP standardization process through the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards and its Emergency Management Technical Committee. Comments from members and non-OASIS members will be collected online.

FEMA submitted its draft EAS CAP requirement to the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee on Dec. 12, 2008. The committee formed a CAP Profiles Subcommittee to evaluate the requirements and develop a working draft of the profile; the document was bumped up to the full committee, which is now putting out the document for a 60-day public comment period.

OASIS will review the draft before it can become a specification and then a standard.