As you may be aware, Nixle is compatible with the IPAWS messaging system. IPAWS is short for the Integrated Public Alert Warning System, a project of FEMA that allows authorized agencies to disseminate messages to the public using its channels, which include EAS (Emergency Alert System) and WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts), among others. Using the system requires authorization from FEMA and a software package, like Nixle, capable of communicating with the IPAWS aggregator.
Here are the basics of how it works. When a message the organization wishes to disseminate through the IPAWS system is launched from Nixle, it is sent to the IPAWS Open message router. The message aggregator will then send this message on to systems with a broader public reach, such as WEA or EAS. This allows your agency to reach a much larger group of people who may be affected in an emergency situation than you may have contact information for.
Using the IPAWS component of Nixle is not required, and you will still be able to send messages to your community.
For more information about receiving credentials to allow you to utilize this component of the Nixle system, please visit FEMA at http://www.fema.gov/how-sign-ipaws. A copy of the MOA required to complete FEMA's process is available at Applying for Access to IPAWS-OPEN.
Once you have the required credentials for IPAWS, see the article: Integrating IPAWS to Nixle.