Although FEMA makes it relatively easy to become an IPAWS message initiator, there are a few rules that must be met and some steps in the process that emergency offices applying for IPAWS need to understand:
1) Qualified Agencies. Almost any level of government from municipal to Federal is potentially eligible to become an authorized agency. The key in this is the state emergency management contact that FEMA has designated to coordinate which agencies in the state are eligible to be authorized. Here’s a sample of variety of agencies that have qualified for IPAWS:
Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of emergency Management (AK)
Lexington Fayette Urban county Government (KY)
Hawaii State Civil Defense
Monroe County Emergency Services for Monroe County ( NY)
Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency
New Jersey State Police
City of Moreno Valley Emergency Management Agency (CA)
The Application process is straightforward. The MOA (Memorandum Of Agreement) application is available through our office or www.FEMA. gov It’s a two page document simply identifying the applicant agency. In addition the FEMA application requests an “interoperability software provider” to be named. Email us at Hyper-Reach with a request and we will have that portion of the MOA form completed for you to send to FEMA. An office needs simply to fill out the MOA, include the interoperability software provider sheet and email it to IPAWS@dhs.gov
If you have questions, simply call Hyper-Reach at (585) 586 -0020 and ask for Kiva (8-5pm daily) and you will be supported to get your MOA application in.The approval process at this publication date is approximately a month.
After an office has applied, FEMA will contact the applying office and provide everything needed to finish certification. As more and more agencies apply, FEMA predicts a bottleneck of applications due to the limits of FEMA staff. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.