National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Tropical Depression Bertha Lifting North; Isolated Severe Across Southern U.S.; Heat Continues In West

Tropical Depression Bertha continues to weaken and lift north toward the central Appalachians and eastern Ohio Valley. Heavy rain, gusty winds and flooding are likely. Meanwhile, isolated severe thunderstorms are possible on Thursday from the Southeast to south-central High Plains. Finally, the ongoing heat wave continues in the West and will expand into the Rockies by the weekend. Read More >

The following steps represent the process that warning authorities use to access the HazCollect system.

Step 1: Is your organization eligible?

State, regional, and local warning authority may be determined based upon government jurisdiction plans and statutory authorities.  Related plans include:

  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) Plan (State/Local Emergency Communications Committee)
  • Amber Alert Plan (State Amber Alert Committee/Law Enforcement Agency)
  • Emergency Operations Plan, Warning Annex (State/Local Emergency Management Agency)

Typically, the authority for warning is assigned to the jurisdiction's chief operating officer, and delegated to subordinates. Your jurisdiction should have a clear, written policy as to who may exercise warning authority, to ensure that warning coverage is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Step 2: Has a FEMA-IPAWS COG been established for your organization?

FEMA is accepting requests from sponsoring government organizations to execute a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the purpose of establishing operational Collaborating Operating Groups (COGs) for IPAWS.
Actions needed:

  • Go to the FEMA IPAWS Website, select Alert Authorities, and follow steps under the "How to sign up for IPAWS" heading.
  • Even those emergency management agencies (EMA) or public warning authorities that already have functioning COGs with the original DM-OPEN and HazCollect must obtain sign a FEMA MOA and get a new COG ID.

Step 3: Complete the training

Completion of the FEMA Emergency Management Institute online training course, IS-247 Integrated Public Alert and Warning System is a pre-requisite for public alerting access in the IPAWS and HazCollect systems.  The training is self-paced and is estimated to take two hours or less to complete. The goal of the course is to provide authorized public safety officials with:

  • Increased awareness of the benefits of using IPAWS for effective public warnings
  • Skills to draft appropriate, effective, and accessible warning messages
  • Best practices in the effective use of Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to reach all members of their communities

Step 4: Access to HazCollect from the National Weather Service

Once you have completed Steps 1-3 above (IPAWS Requirements), you will be granted access to use the National Weather Service HazCollect dissemination capability.

Step 5: Configure your software application

You will be notified via email when your application for HazCollect access has been approved. Your system administrator will need to configure accounts and NWEM posting permissions per the jurisdiction's warning policy (see Step 1) using instructions from your alert authoring tool software vendor. In addition, if your authoring tool provides the capability, you should pre-populate hazard specific warning templates that comply with warning best practices and technical requirements.

Step 6: Ensure appropriate individuals receive training

It will be the responsibility of the requesting jurisdiction to ensure that system operators receive the training required in Step 3 above, and how to use NWEM authoring software. It is highly recommended that your jurisdiction collaborate with the appropriate NWS Weather Forecast Office's Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) for implementation. (Consult the NWS WCM Local Contact page as needed.) It is also recommended that practice with HazCollect be routinely included in the jurisdiction's emergency response exercises.