Layered Warning Strategy
We recommend everyone use a layered approach to receive critical information; in other words, have multiple ways to get the news that could save your life. Some of those layers include:
- Civic Ready Alerts (Public Sign-up)
- NOAA weather radio
- Local media outlets for weather information
- Weather alerts on your phone or mobile device
- Emergency log
- Outdoor warning devices
Subscribers can register and opt-in to receive emergency public safety alerts, public health alerts, or community bulletins via automated voice calls, text messages and/or email. Non-emergency messages will be sent by email only.
We have partnered with a number of cities within Sedgwick County so they may have access to send their own alerts. We are launching this for only two cities initially, both Wichita and Mount Hope residents can sign up for City specific alerts. Stay tuned as we continue to add more cities in the coming months.
Examples of messages sent through the CivicPlus Mass Notification System
- Public Safety/911 Alerts (May include active dangers or threats to life and safety in your area.)
- Public Health Notifications (May include boil water advisories, illness, or outbreak concerns)
- Community Bulletins (May include government closures, important news or other information.)
Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS)
The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is FEMA's national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public through mobile phones using Wireless Emergency Alerts, to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System, on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Radio and other platforms.
Sedgwick County Emergency Management is a FEMA approved IPAWS Alerting Authority. As an Alerting Authority, Emergency Management is able to send IPAWS messages to warn the public in times of public danger. The National Weather Service is responsible for sending weather related IPAWS messages. KHP is responsible for sending Amber Alerts. Sedgwick County Emergency Management will typically send all others. IPAWS messages are assigned a FEMA event code depending on the severity of the threat or type of message being sent. Those FEMA event codes can be referenced here.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. Wireless providers primarily use cell broadcast technology for WEA message delivery. WEA is a partnership among FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless providers to enhance public safety.
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires radio and TV broadcasters, cable TV, wireless cable systems, satellite and wireline operators to provide the President with capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.
Alerting People with Disabilities and Access and Functional Needs
Executive Order 13407 mandates that the federal government “include in the public alert and warning system the capability to alert and warn all Americans, including those with disabilities and those without an understanding of the English language.” The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System office is working endlessly to build a stronger and more inclusive alert and warning system. More information regarding additional capabilities of IPAWS can be found here.
Outdoor Warning Devices
You can read up on our Outdoor Warning System here
How do I report a non-functioning outdoor warning device?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the emergency management office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 660-5959 and advise any available staff member. For times beyond normal business hours, contact 911.