Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Help Shape the CMAS Research Agenda -- Online Forum live thru March 9

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, I would like to invite you to help shape the research and development agenda for the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS).
As you may know, the rollout of CMAS will begin in April of this year. Once it is rolled out, CMAS will allow alerting authorities at different levels of government to send text-like alerts to the public via wireless devices based on geographic location. As CMAS becomes operational across the country, the research and development of this system will be important in ensuring CMAS is as effective as possible and continues to evolve to meet the needs of practitioners like you. From today until March 16th, the CMAS Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) Program is hosting an online discussion to bring practitioner input into the CMAS research and development agenda, specifically in the fields of geo-targeting of CMAS alerts and understanding public response to CMAS messages. (More information about CMAS is at the bottom of this email.)

The discussion will be online 24/7 for your input. Your participation will help us craft a research agenda around these questions:
·         For CMAS to be effective, what do we need to know about how the public responds to mobile alerts?
·         What are the key questions that should guide CMAS research and development in geo-targeting of mobile alerts?

On this online forum, you can rate existing focus areas developed by the CMAS RDT&E Program, refine ideas in open discussion with other practitioners, and submit your own ideas for research questions that should be explored.

Log on now and help shape the CMAS research agenda

Building a research agenda that is in line with the needs of the public safety community requires the input of practitioners like you. So please log on and help inform the research objectives of CMAS, and feel free to forward this to those in your network whose perspectives should be heard. If you have any questions, please contact CMAS_Forum@sra.com.

Regards,

Denis Gusty
Program Manager
Office of Interoperability & Compatibility
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Science and Technology Directorate

CMAS Background
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) envisions a future where all Americans are able to receive accurate alerts and warnings, regardless of communications technology used.  This vision is being achieved through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).  IPAWS is a modernization and integration of the Nation's alert and warning infrastructure.  It integrates new and existing public alert and warning systems and technologies.  In partnership with DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), IPAWS is working to incorporate wireless mobile alerts through the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS).  This inclusion is an acknowledgement of the important role that wireless technologies play in Americans' lives today.  Given the wide use of wireless mobile devices, CMAS will help ensure more people receive actionable alerts to help avoid danger or respond more quickly during crisis—thereby saving lives and property. 

CMAS—developed and tested by FEMA and S&T—is one of the major components of IPAWS.  The CMAS component will provide an interface to participating cellular mobile service providers for delivery of critical alert information to cellular phones in a danger zone.  Specifically, the CMAS capability will provide local, tribal, state, territorial, and Federal government officials the ability to send 90-character, geographically-targeted text alerts to the public.

For more background on CMAS, visit the CMAS RDT&E Online Forum.

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