Section 1.0 - Executive Overview
1.1 - General
This document is presented to depict the results of an extensive requirements
analysis performed by Technical Legal Consulting, Inc. of Independence, Missouri
relating to the needs for a nationally integrated Emergency Alert Notification
System which meets the needs of both those agencies and organizations involved
in Emergency/Disaster management, and the public.
The Requirements Analysis which forms the basis of this document was
the result of exhaustive research into current systems and their
shortcomings, personal interviews with key personnel, and focus groups.
1.2 - Purpose
The purpose of this document is twofold;
- To present a generalized design specification of an Alert Notification system based upon the requirements analysis that can act as the basis for a
Request for Proposal for those agencies seeking to fulfill some or all
of the objectives and requirements delineated herein.
- To present the accompanying "response" to such a proposal from Technical
Legal Consulting, Inc. outlining the system that was developed using the
requirements analysis as a basis, and which is made available through EMCOM,
the custodial agent operating the system.
1.3 - Scope
The scope of this document includes a design specification depicting the full
scope of system requirements as defined by the Requirements Analysis.
Due to the variety of systems and methodologies currently in use for other
aspects of Emergency Management by various agencies, no attempt was made to
incorporate aspects other than those required for Alert Notification and
Feedback Loops (Survey/Situation Reporting).
1.4 - Goals and Objectives
The primary goal of the system is to provide a single, integrated, time and cost effective
mechanism for providing a national alerting system, national in scope, which, through use of
all available current technologies provides for the widest possible
dissemination of emergency messages to the public within targeted, geographically defined notification areas.
Secondary goals include:
- To provide a nationally integrated mechanism for intra and inter-agency
notifications for use in maintaining coordination between the various
agencies involved in specific incidents.
- To incorporate feedback loop mechanisms which provide a means for
disseminating survey vehicles and collect responses into a common database
for display and analysis.
- To provide such a system within a cost-structure such that even the
smallest communities can enjoy equal participation in the full capabilities
of the system.
The primary objective will be to utilize currently
existing technologies across all relevant media to form a single, integrated
system offering which fulfills the stated goals.
1.5 - System Requirements Overview
Due to the current national and world situation, there exists the need for
a technological means to provide a common, comprehensive, integrated
Emergency Alert Notification System capable of alerting the public of
current or prospective emergency or disaster situations. Additionally, the
system must be capable of augmenting integrated coordination between the
various agencies that may be involved in a common incident with secure
intra and inter-agency alerting and notification mechanisms.
The system must be capable of notifying the populations of small communities,
towns, cities, counties, states or the nation through a single interface,
yet utilizing as wide a variety of notification methodologies and techniques
as possible to insure that notifications are received by as wide as possible
percentage of the public in the targeted notification area.
Additionally, the system must be capable of eliciting response from various
persons and/or agencies in the form of survey or situation report mechanisms
that are compiled and made available to the issuing agency for use in their
own management applications for damage assessment, resource allocation, etc.
Two other key elements which permutated the requirements analysis must
be taken into account. First, ease of use. The system must be able to be
operated without the need for extensive technical training, and in the interest
of time in emergency situations, with as few
'steps' as possible to issue alerts and bulletins. Secondly, and not the least
less significant, is the ability to provide a system that is within the fiscal means of as many
emergency organizations as possible, with emphasis on rural counties and
communities with extremely limited resources.
Details as to the specific requirements to be fulfilled under each of these
general areas are presented in Section 2.0 of this document.
1.6 - Installation
The system must be capable of being installed and operational in as short a
timeframe as possible, including all required training. Installation
requirements are set forth in Section 3.0 of this document.
1.7 - Training
The system should be designed in such a manner that it can be operated
simply and without significant technical knowledge or extensive training,
such that in the absence of a primary system operator, other Emergency
Operations Center personnel with limited training or knowledge of the system
can operate it effectively.
1.8 - Text & Acceptance
Section 5.0 provides an abridged exemplar of the Test and Acceptance procedures that must be
performed to verify the system meets the operational requirements as set
forth in this document.
1.9 - Summary
The System Design Specification included herein meets the full
requirements of an Emergency Alert Notification System capable of providing the
alerting mechanism required by the emergency/disaster management community in terms of
technological capabilites, fiscal capabilities, and operational requirements,
while fulfilling the ultimate goal of providing the widest possible
Emergency agencies may use the contents of this document as a base for their
own specifications and Requests for Proposal, adding or deleting
requirements to suit the individual needs of their own organizations.