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Best Practices in Wireless Emergency Alerts

February 2014 Special Report
John McGregor, Joseph P. Elm, Elizabeth Trocki Stark (SRA International, Inc.), Jennifer Lavan (SRA International, Inc.), Rita C. Creel, Christopher J. Alberts, Carol Woody, Robert J. Ellison, Tamara Marshall-Keim

This report presents four best practices for the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service, including implementing WEA in a local jurisdiction, training emergency staff in using WEA, cross-jurisdictional governance of WEA, and cybersecurity risk management.


Software Engineering Institute

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This material is based on work funded and supported by Department of Homeland Security and is also available at in the Technology Documents Library.

This report presents four best practices for the Wireless Emergency
Alerts (WEA) program. These best practices were identified through interviews
with emergency management agencies across the United States. The WEA "Go Live"
Checklist identifies key steps that an emergency management agency should
perform when implementing WEA in a local jurisdiction and provides guidance for
completing each action. The WEA Training and Drilling Guide identifies the steps
for preparing staff to use WEA and includes suggestions shared by alerting
authorities that have implemented WEA. The WEA Governance Guide identifies
steps for using or preparing to use WEA to ensure coordination between
participating alerting agencies. The WEA Cybersecurity Risk Management (CSRM)
Strategy describes a strategy that alert originators can use throughout WEA
adoption, operations, and sustainment, as well as a set of governance
activities for developing a plan to execute the CSRM. Because best practices
will evolve as WEA matures and becomes more widely used, an appendix provides
information on how a best practice–driven organization can search for best
practices, adapt them to the local context, and adopt them for everyday use.