SAFECOM/NCSWIC Announces the Release of Essentials of Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications

 Author: Dave Nolan, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Effective and timely alerts, warnings, and notifications (AWN) can assist the public to make informed, life-saving, and property-preserving decisions before, during, and after hazardous events. To educate the public safety community on the fundamentals of AWN, SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), in collaboration with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and with support from Federal Emergency Management Agency Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (FEMA IPAWS) Program Management Office developed the Essentials of Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications document. It is the companion document to Ten Keys to Improving Emergency Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications.

The Essentials outlines the fundamentals of AWN systems, the evolving landscape, future AWN considerations, next steps for the AWN community, as well as provides AWN system examples. Specifically, the document:

  • Provides an overview on core elements of AWN systems such as alert originators, content, and distribution;
  • Introduces legislative, social, and technological advances that drive the changes to and future considerations for the AWN landscape; and
  • Presents summaries on example national, regional, state, local, tribal, and territorial AWN systems.

Public safety officials, Smart City planners, alert originators, managers, system administrators, system operators, and emergency managers across all agencies and organizations (including non-government) to familiarize themselves with AWNs and the existing systems.

For additional information about this document, alerts and warnings, or the Ten Keys to Improving Emergency Alerts, Warnings, and Notifications document, please contact: and For more resources, please visit