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The Public Warning Process

Warning Basics

  • nThe event must be detected.
  • nThe decision to warn the public must be made.
  • nThe public must receive and understand the warning.
  • nThe public must have somewhere safe to go to or action to take
  • nThe public must act.

Unless we improve the outcome of an event, the system has failed

Public Warning is a process, not a technology. But too often, government officials begin with a technology solution. Public Warning without a corresponding public action is a failure. If we continue to base our ability to warn the public during a crisis by only developing technological solutions, we are doom to fail. Why?, because without an understanding of how to change human behavior during that crisis, the outcomes may fall short of the goal of saving lives and reducing the impact of the event. It can not be stated too forcibly that a public warning issued without a proper public response is still a failure.

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National Warning Systems

EAS - Emergency Alerting system

NOAA Weather Radio


What is CAP? CAP RSS feed

Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task. CAP also facilitates the detection of emerging patterns in local warnings of various kinds, such as might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act. CAP provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience.


Partnership for Public Warning
The Board of Trustees of the Partnership for Public Warning
has announced that the Partnership has been dissolved.
The Board wishes to express its thanks to all
the organizations and individuals who worked with
the Partnership to improve America’s
public warning capability.