Pictured left to right: John Bischoff III, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; Police Chief Phillip Francisco, Navajo Nation Police; Donna Bennett, FEMA; Adrian Gardner, FEMA; Harland Cleveland, Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management; Chief of Staff Arbin Mitchell, Navajo Nation Offce of the President and Vice President; Director Jesse Delmar, Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety; Wade Witmer, FEMA IPAWS; and Mark Lucero, FEMA IPAWS.
Published January 14, 2017
WINDOW ROCK – On Jan. 9, the Navajo Nation Amber Alert and Emergency Alert Task Force under the direction of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, Department of Emergency Management accomplished a huge milestone to bring the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) to the Navajo Nation.
“We are very excited to know that the IPAWS will be implemented for the Navajo Nation. We applaud the efforts of the taskforce to make this project a reality,” said President Russell Begaye. “This system will not only provide alerts to those on the Navajo Nation through radios or televisions but through text messages as well.”
This system is greatly needed to provide all citizens within the Nation information on imminent threats (natural, man-made) and amber alerts.
“Mobile users will not be charged for receiving a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and are automatically enrolled to receive them. This will ensure that all individuals inside the boarders of the Navajo Nation receive the alerts,” said Vice President Jonathan Nez.
The next task is to purchase a Mass Notification Software that is compatible with IPAWS to bring this system fully functional. This system will be active within a couple of weeks.
“Through the efforts of Harlan Cleveland, Emergency Services Coordinator of Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management, the goal of the taskforce was realized to implement this greatly needed system,” said Director Jesse Delmar, Director of the Division of Public Safety.
“AMBER Alert trainings will begin for law enforcement personnel later this month,” said Cleveland.
IPAWS will be operating under a regional plan to cover the whole Nation. The Department of Emergency Management will by the administering department for IPAWS. They will be working with the surrounding states to send additional AMBER Alerts out.
IPAWS provides public safety of cials with an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface.
As of January 8, 2017 a total of 191 WEA messages were sent out. This includes 162 weather alerts, 151 flash flood warnings, 11 tornado warnings and 26 Amber Alerts.
FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is an internet-based capability Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local authorities can use to issue critical public alerts and warnings.