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EAS Overview

Within Idaho, accomplishing this involves a joint partnership between a large number of people and organizations.  The State Communications Center (StateComm) is the primary point of contact for local emergency management desiring to use the EAS.  StateComm issues the alert via FEMA's IPAWS server (Integrated Public Alert & Warning System).  That is monitored by broadcasters and cable companies that broadcast these alerts.  For rudandancy, those broadcasters also monitor key broadcasters in each region of the state known as Local Primaries who also receive and rebroadcast alerts.  They also relay NOAA weather alerts. In turn, non-weather alerts can be broadcast by NOAA Weather via their weather transmitters as a backup to the Internet (used by IPAWS) and StateComm.  It is a largely automated process that happens very quickly.

Other warning systems overlap with EAS.  Amber alerts (about child abductions) are originated by a smilar process as EAS, but also simultaneously delivered to digital highway signs around the state and to displays at lottery retailers.  This involves some other valuable partners…the Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho State Police, and the Idaho Lottery Commission, as well as the Amber Alert committee and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And the same origination system delivers warnings to cell phones using WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts).

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