FEMA looks ahead on emergency warning system
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is seeking the best way to hire
a vendor to help it implement an integrated emergency alert system that
uses the latest information technology.
FEMA published a request
for information and a draft statement of work for support services for
implementing the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)
Dec. 10. The agency released a modified version of the notice today.
The pre-solicitation notice said FEMA would use vendors’ responses to
determine the appropriate contract mechanism for acquiring the needed
President Bush ordered the new alert system in 2006, and some experts have been critical of FEMA's efforts to implement it.
Officials say IPAWS will improve the current emergency alert and warning systems, which rely on radio and TV broadcasts.
will use mobile media — such as cell phones, pagers, computers and
other personal communications devices — to warn people through live or
pre-recorded messages in audio, video and text and in multiple
languages, including American Sign Language and Braille, FEMA officials
According to the draft statement of work, officials are
considering an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for
the services, which could involve engineering design, conducting
inventories of existing systems, acquiring hardware and software,
modifying facilities, and providing support for federal, state and
Responses are due by Jan 30, 2009. In the
RFI, FEMA officials said they want to determine the best way to buy
software and hardware, incorporate lessons learned from other contract
awards, and assess the industry’s interest in providing the services.
Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.