Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Implementers Workshop - 9-10 December 2008 - Geneva

About the Workshop

The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), an OASIS standard adopted as ITU Recommendation X.1303, has become the foundation standard for all-media public warning. Designed as an all-hazards alert format, CAP is envisioned to be implemented worldwide for earthquakes, public health, and many other emergencies, in addition to weather events.

WMO is hosting a 2-day CAP Implementers Workshop 9-10 December 2008 here at WMO in Geneva, in cooperation with OASIS and ITU. Attached here is the letter from WMO about this Workshop, addressed to PR's of Members, Presidents of Technical Commissions, and International Organizations. 

This Workshop will be primarily a forum for discussions among CAP implementers and ICT or emergency management organizations on topics requiring coordination.

Alerting authorities:
  • making globally unique identifiers for CAP alerts
  • best practices for disseminating CAP alerts (radio/tv, RSS/Atom, SMS, e-mail...)
  • determining the standards-compliance of a CAP implementation
  • use of CAP for disease surveillance
  • best practices for text in the CAP "description" and "instruction" elements
  • mechanisms to discover and validate CAP feeds
  • having an internationally agreed list of authorities for common types of CAP alerts
  • best practices for authenticating CAP alerts
  • best practices for aggregating CAP alerts
  • multi-language CAP brokers
Standards clarifications:
  • unique identifier for events, e.g., GLIDE number,
  • use of sub-setting mechanisms (profiles, layers)
  • best practices for updates and cancels
  • best practices for AREA blocks and moving threat zones between updates
  • best practices for Polygons, Preset Polygons, and Motion Vectors¬† Outreach
Publicizing CAP and promoting its adoption internationally

This Workshop follows on the October 2006 "Workshop and Demonstration of Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning" held at ITU in Geneva (see ). Since that 2006 Workshop, there have been notable developments including:

  • The ITU-D (ITU Development sector) approved guidance for developing nations on CAP implementation
  • The U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) issued an order requiring use of CAP
  • The WMO SWIC (Severe Weather Information Centre) began work on CAP warnings of Tropical Cyclones
  • The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) continued improving its CAP messages
  • The Weather Channel underscored to NWS the need to institute CAP
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began developing CAP alerts for air quality warnings
  • The Earth Observations Summit highlighted CAP implementation as a major achievement
  • Canada and the U.S. coordinated on implementation of their respective CAP-based alerting systems
  • EUMETNET began exploring how to adapt METEOALARM to support CAP.