The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has earmarked $1,542,113 to aid Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications (AWN) guidance development.
The DHS S&T funding allotment via its Long-Range Broad Agency Announcement (LRBAA) program was awarded to Corner Alliance, Inc., a small business consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. and Boulder, Colo.
Authorities indicated the program planning app that is slated to be available through a portal at FEMA’s website is expected to provide customized resources, best practices, and program templates to address the most pressing challenges of alert originators.
“From the devastating wildfires on the West Coast to the very active Atlantic/Caribbean 2020 hurricane season to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, there is a growing need to push actionable information out quickly to the public in order to save lives,” Antwane Johnson, director of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) office, said.
The development of the tool serves as a continuation of S&T’s partnership with FEMA in creating the IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit, as a means of aiding public safety agencies in minimizing alerting delays; planning for future alerts, warnings, and notifications enhancements; facilitating interoperability across different technologies; and improving information sharing among emergency management and public safety officials.
“First responders rely on information to make life-saving decisions, often with very little time to spare,” William Bryan, DHS senior official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, said. “This tool will help public safety agencies respond quickly and decisively during emergencies or catastrophic events, and that allows the greater homeland security enterprise to be more prepared and resilient.”