FEMA: Removing Barriers to Alert Accessibility

Volume: 35 Issue: 1

(Note: The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: BIFOCAL Vol. 35, Issue 1.)

Recognizing that alert and warning information is only effective if received means understanding how people choose to receive information. And, if the goal is to alert everyone, then it is vitally important not to overlook the approximately 25% of the population who rely on assistance or accommodation in their day-to-day lives. Pushing information to TV and radio is simply no longer enough.

FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is moving quickly toward the goal of making sure alerts and warnings are fully accessible by the whole community. This multi-platform approach to pushing information through a variety of devices attempts to ensure access to critical information by everyone. But there are still some final hurdles to overcome.

On FEMA’s website, you’ll find a paper serving to demonstrate how IPAWS addresses the challenges of reaching the whole community, including those who might need assistance. It argues that while IPAWS doesn’t solve all of the challenges, it can mitigate them—particularly with greater stakeholder engagement and public awareness.

Learn more at: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=7599.


Search Bifocal

Portions of the Bifocal archive are available for online search. Use a keyword or other characteristics to search: complete issue PDFs beginning with the Winter 2001 issue (Vol. 22, No. 2), or individual articles in html format beginning with the August 2012 issue (Vol. 33, No. 1).


About Bifocal

Bifocal, the Commission on Law and Aging's bi-monthly journal, provides timely, valuable legal resources pertaining to older persons, generated through the joint efforts of public and private bar groups and the aging network.



The Commission distributes Bifocal for free six times a year to elder bar section and committee members, legal services providers, elder law and other private practitioners, judges, court staff, elder advocates, policymakers, law schools, elder law clinics, law libraries, and other professionals in the law and aging network.

    Subscribe to Bifocal using the Subscription and Discussion Lists form available on the Commission's Contact Us page.



Bifocal invites the submission of news about your elder bar section’s activities, as well as brief articles of interest to elder law and other professionals in the aging advocacy network.

    Share news about your entity’s initiatives towards the delivery of direct legal assistance to older persons in your particular area; pro bono and reduced fee programs; community legal education programs; multi-disciplinary partnerships; and new resources that are helpful to professionals and consumers.

    Also welcome are substantive law articles on legal issues of interest to state area agencies on aging, bar association entities, private attorneys, legal services projects, law schools, and others in the law and aging network.

    Bifocal is published bi-monthly. Email the Commission for manuscript guidelines and deadline information for upcoming issues.


Bifocal Archive

Older issues of Bifocal are archived here.