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National Warning System (NAWAS)

  • Acronym = National Warning System
  • Designed and maintained to alert the states to a nuclear attack. It is mainly used to disseminate weather threats
  • Interconnecting lines avoid local telephone switches. This provides better availability even when the local system is down or overloaded.
  • 2200+ party line network of telephone circuits
  • Connects the emergency services headquarters of the 50 states to FEMA's Mt. Weather, and various other military and government facilities.
  • Designed to provide protection from lightening strikes so they may be used during storms.
  • Report NAWAS problems:
    1. First calls for NAWAS problems should go to: NAWAS Service Desk - FEMA
      Voice: 877-411-2139
      Desk: 540-542-5714
      Cell: 540-454-7167
    2. If users run into problems, please then call the WEM Duty Officer 1-800-943-0003

  • Normally, all weather warnings and watches will be disseminated on the appropriate NAWAS by the issuing National Weather Service office.
  • NAWAS consists of the WEM Headquarters, seven State Patrol District headquarters, five National Weather Service offices and 28 primary county warning points (normally, located in the county 911 centers).
  • Warnings to the 44 non-NAWAS counties are done using the most expedient method by the NAWAS counties.
  • One typical scenario is the use of the system during tornadoes. As storms are sighted, emergency managers in one town or county can communicate with their colleagues in other counties who are in the path of the storm, advising them as to direction, speed, and intensity. The drawback to this system is it relies on human intervention.

National Warning System Network