National Wireless Alert (NWA) System test scheduled for Thursday has been re-scheduled.

National Wireless Alert (NWA) System test scheduled for Thursday has been re-scheduled.

FEMA, in cooperation with the FCC, had planned to conduct a national test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 20, 2018 at 2:18 pm EDT and 2:20 pm EDT, respectively.  The test has now been re-scheduled to Thursday, October 3, 2018 at the same time. (Click here for more details.)  According to the FEMA website, this is because of the on-going response to Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina.

The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016,  and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

The WEA test will likely show up on cell phones accepting government alerts as “Presidential Alert.”

Click here for the original announcement of the 09/20/18 test.

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(from the Scott County EMA website)

Scott County is part of the State of Iowa alert system called Alert Iowa.

What is Alert Iowa?

Alert Iowa is a county/statewide mass notification and emergency messaging system which can be used by state and local authorities to quickly disseminate emergency information to residents in counties that utilize the system.

This system will be used as an emergency notification system during all hazard and life-safety events.

If you sign up through your community website you will receive messages via landline or wireless phone, text messaging, email, fax, TDD/TYY, and social media.

The system is available, free of charge, to all citizens in Scott County and we encourage everyone to register at least one contact method.

Alert messages may contain photo, video and audio attachments to help subscribers better understand the situation at hand, or where to find additional information.

These messages will normally be specific to your community or the communities for which you register. However, if you sign up through the Scott County website and do not choose any specific community, you will receive only warnings and information specific to the County as a whole and not your specific community.

Once you have registered your information will be automatically entered into the system and you will receive any notices sent out.

Nevertheless, should you decide you no longer wish to receive messages, you can opt-out of the system by sending an e-mail or letter to Scott County EMA at 1100 E. 46th Street, Davenport, IA 52807 or with your name address and phone number you registered.  The process to add or remove contact information may take 24 to 72 hours.

This system is powered by the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), and in Scott County is under the control of the Scott County Emergency Management Agency.

For additional information on Alert Iowa/WENS you can contact Dave Donovan at 563-484-3050 with the Scott County EMA office.

Development of a community readiness plan now underway

Development of a community readiness plan now underway

Council Member Paul DCamp reported that he has begun the process of assembling a team to review the City’s emergency services needs and capabilities. As the member of the City Council tasked with moving forward on fire and public safety matters, Councilman DCamp has reached out to the Scott Emergency Management Agency (SCEMA) as part of his initial research on developing a needs assessment and – eventually – a plan for dealing with natural disasters, industrial accidents and other emergency situations that may occur within the city limits.

According to the advice provided by Mr. David Donovan, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Scott County, the first step in developing a community-wide plan would be to pull together a small, core planning team and meet to discuss a process and timeline for research and plan development. Mr. Donovan offered to meet with Riverdale’s core planning team once one was assembled.

Mr. Donovan’s suggestion was:

“In addition to the mayor/council, I would suggest a city hall staff [member], someone from fire (Brian Ballard might be good or whomever Floyd would suggest), and public works. This group would lead the effort. Others to consider pulling in would include Sheriff’s Office, local business (Arconic, MidAmerican, Schebler, etc.), one or two residents, Scott Community College and PV Schools. Those folks could be a larger steering committee that would provide input as the plan progresses.”

Councilman DCamp proposed moving ahead with the creation of a small core planning team. Formal action (if needed) will be taken at the next City Council meeting.

Interested in pitching in to help? Let us know.