IPAWS & Weather Alerts

Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS)

During an emergency, first responders and local governments need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. To help reach a large population and all residents--regardless of whether they are signed up for self-enrolled emergency alerts--the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS).  For more information see FEMA’s informational video.

IPAWS provides Delta County public safety officials with an effective way to alert and warn the public about imminent loss of life emergencies, 24 hours a day.  While Delta County has access and the authority to activate emergency messaging via IPAWS, it is reserved only for situations that would result in immediate or imminent loss of life. 

IPAWS allows first responders to send messages via the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather radio

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.