The Howard County Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Ellicott City (EC) Outdoor Tone Alert System Integration
2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Howard County, Md., MD
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Risk and Emergency Management (Best in Category)
The Howard County Office of Emergency Managementâs (OEM) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Ellicott City (EC) Outdoor Tone Alert System Integration provides for an automated method of activating a system of flood alert tools that deliver critical public notification of active or imminent flash flooding. The system can be activated manually or remotely via Everbridge, the integration with IPAWS automates activation whenever the National Weather Service issues a Flash Flood Warning for the focus area of Historic Ellicott City. To ensure functionality, there are several tests that occur on the system daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally on the various components of the system. Previously, all components were exercised outside of the IPAWS function due to its complexity. In the past year, to ensure greater redundancy, OEM has added a test of the IPAWS component which is unprecedented and required significant coordination with the National Weather Service (NWS).