IPAWS & Weather Alerts

IPAWS, celebrating 10 years of wireless emergency alerts

Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS)

During an emergency such as a rapidly spreading wildfire, first responders, Delta County 911 dispatch and Emergency Management need to provide the public with critical life-safety alerts quickly. To ensure we can reach a large population and all residents, regardless of whether they are registered for the Delta County Alerts system or not, Delta County is registered as an authorized alerting authority with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS). 

IPAWS provides Delta County Emergency Management with an effective way to alert and warn the public about potential imminent loss of life and/or property emergencies 24 hours a day.  IPAWS is reserved for imminent or active emergencies affecting large areas of the county and requiring an immediate response. Some examples include:  fast moving wildfire, flash flooding or active flooding, gas leak, active shooter, etc.  

Three Types of IPAWS Alerts

What is the Difference Between an EAS, WEA and NOAA Weather Alert?

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) was designed by FEMA to enable the President of the United States to be able to send an emergency message to the American people within 10 minutes of a disaster. When triggered, the EAS sends a message to all broadcast TV, cable, satellite and wireline communication pathways including local radio stations and streaming and satellite radio.  An EAS Alert is only sent in extreme emergencies such as an urgent need to evacuate and severe loss of life if action is not taken immediately. 

A Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) is an emergency message sent by a public safety agency/government alerting authority through your cell phone carrier. The most common type of WEA alert is an AMBER Alert.  These messages are sent to all cell phones within range of a cell tower that is selected to send out the alert. The alerts have a unique tone and vibration that are repeated twice and cannot be silenced.  Public Safety Alerts or Imminent Alerts are sent out in extreme circumstances. If you receive a WEA on your cell phone, follow the instructions in the message. 

There are very specific procedures for issuing an AMBER Alert. If you feel a child has been abducted and an AMBER Alert is needed, please call 911 and speak with Law Enforcement immediately.  Law enforcement will consult with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) who will work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to issue an AMBER Alert through IPAWS if the correct criteria have been met. 

The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service Office. The nearest NWS Office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado and issues official Weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazards 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

The National Weather Radio (NWR) Transmitter for Delta County is KXI90 162.450 based in Montrose, Colorado. 

Delta County is a Storm Ready County and remains active as such by equipping all Delta County Schools, shelters, and the Emergency Operations Center with NOAA Weather Radios. 

For more information, see NOAA Weather Radio.