Create a New IPAWS Message

Who can use this feature?

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This article will show you how to create a new IPAWS message.

Important Note

  • Both WEA 1.0 and WEA 2.0 will be supported for the indefinite future while all mobile carriers integrate


  1. Navigate to New Post > New IPAWS
  2. If applicable, select an IPAWS Template from the drop-down menu next to the Create IPAWS Post title
  3. Select a Post Method on the left-hand side
    • EAS: Emergency Alert System
    • WEA: Wireless Emergency Alerts
    • NWEM: Non-Weather Emergency Messages
      • Note: Messages will send via All-Hazards Emergency Message Collection System (HazCollect) operated by the National Weather Service.
    • CAPEXCH/COGs: Collaborative Operating Group
    • Regroup: Post via a Regroup method (Email, Text/SMS, Text-to-Speech, Facebook)
    • For more details on each of the above IPAWS Alert Disseminators see our article About IPAWS.
  4. Use the IPAWS Key drop-down menu to select your IPAWSKey
    • Test Key: Tests the FEMA JITC environment
    • LIVE Key: Sends live alerts to the public IPAWS channels
  5. Create your Message Details
    • Enter the event code
    • County FIPS(s): Select your county
      • Note: FIPS is a unique code that identifies each County in the U.S. The appropriate FIPS/County code ensures the alert sends to the appropriate warning area.
    • Timezone: Select the appropriate time zone
    • Alert Duration:
      • Hours and Mins: Enter the alert duration in hours and minutes, if required by the alert disseminator
    • Sender: Enter the name of your Alerting Authority
      • Note: For NWEM, the format must be in Name, City, State.
    • Choose Geographical Location: Click the Choose button to select your location on an interactive map
  6. Select your Advanced Options
    • Alert Category: Select your alert category
      • Geo: Geophysical (including landslides)
      • Met: Meteorological (including floods)
      • Safety: General emergency and public safety
      • Security: Law enforcement, military, homeland, and local/private security
      • Rescue: Rescue and recovery
      • Fire: Fire suppression and rescue
      • Health: Medical and public health
      • Env: Pollution and other environmental
      • Transport: Public and private transportation
      • Infra: Utility, telecommunication, other non-transport infrastructure
      • CBRNE: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or High-Yield Explosive threat or attack
      • Other: Other events
      • Note: Commercial Mobile Alert System uses these values if the event code is missing or does not match the required event codes.
    • Urgency: Select the urgency of the event
      • Immediate: Take immediate action
      • Expected: Take action soon (within the next hour)
      • Future: Take action in the near future
      • Past: Responsive action is no longer required
      • Unknown: Urgency not known
    • Severity: Select the severity of the event
      • Extreme: Extraordinary threat to life or property
      • Severe: Significant threat to life or property
      • Moderate: Possible threat to life or property
      • Minor: Responsive action is no longer required
      • Unknown: Severity unknown
      • Note: For CMAS/WEA - Only those alerts with an urgency of immediate or expected meet the requirements of the Commercial Mobile Alert System Imminent Threat alert.
    • Certainty: Select the status of the event
      • Observed: Ongoing or has occurred
      • Likely: Probability is greater than or equal to 50%
      • Possible: Probability is less than 50%
      • Unlikely: Not expected to occur
      • Unknown: Certainly unknown
      • Note: For CMAS/WEA - Only those alerts with an urgency of immediate or expected meet the requirements of the Commercial Mobile Alert System Imminent Threat alert.
    • Event Response: Select an applicable response to the event
      • Shelter: Take shelter in place or per instruction
      • Evacuate: Relocate as instructed in the instruction
      • Prepare: Make preparations per the instruction
      • Execute: Execute a pre-planned activity identified in the instruction
      • Avoid: Avoid the subject event as per the instruction
      • Monitor: Attend to information sources as described in instruction only
    • WEA Handling: Determines how the WEA message is routed
      • WEA Handling
      • Imminent Threat
      • Public Safety
      • WEA Test
      • Note: This dropdown is only available if WEA is selected as a Post Method
  7. Compose your message
    • WEA Short Text (English): Enter your WEA message
      • Note: This text appears in one-way radio broadcasts that send to cell phones or mobile devices based on the recipient's proximity to the selected cell tower.
      • Note: The WEA Short Text must not be longer than 90 characters.
      • Note: This field is only available if WEA is selected as a Post Method.
    • WEA Long Text (English): Enter your WEA message
      • Note: If CMAMLongText is not provided the 90-character CMAMText will be utilized for the CMAMLongText and passed with the CMAC Alert.
      • Note: The WEA Long Text must not be longer than 360 characters.
      • Note: This field is only available if WEA is selected as a Post Method.
    • Add WEA in Spanish: Check this box to send the WEA in Spanish
      • Note: The message must be typed in Spanish in both the short text and long text fields. The system will not automatically translate IPAWS notifications.
      • Note: The end-user will receive the message in either English or Spanish dependent on how their mobile device is configured.
      • Note: This option is only available if WEA is selected as a Post Method.
    • Headline:  Create a brief, human-readable headline
      • Note: For the NWS HazCollect system, the headline must be no longer than 160 characters including blank spaces. Internet services may use the headline value to populate Short Message Service (SMS) text, intended for subscriber-based, non-CMAS mobile systems, in which case the number of characters may be limited to 140.
    • Description: Create an extended, human-readable description of the hazard or event
      • Note: This is where you place the important information (who, what, when, and where) about the hazardous situation.
      • Note: The Commercial Mobile Alert System does not use the value of this element, but you should use this for all alerts routed to the Emergency Alert System and HazCollect.
  8. Click Preview & Send at the bottom of the page
    • Note: Click Save this as IPAWS Template to save your message as a template.

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