- Bibliographic Information
- About the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)
- About EDXL
- Principal References
Two specifications being developed by the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee have advanced toward standardization, while work commences on a third XML-related standard for messaging.
Under its current charter, the Emergency Management TC focuses on the creation of incident and emergency-related standards for data interoperability. While the EM TC progresses the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) specification toward a version 2.0, its Members are also working with other organizations to develop the first components of the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL). The EDXL standards activity is coordinated with DHS/FEMA (as part of the Disaster Management eGov Initiative) and with the Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC); hosting services are provided by the Comcare Alliance.
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) v1.1 specification has been submitted by the Emergency Management TC to OASIS for consideration as an OASIS Standard. CAP functions both as a standalone protocol and as a payload for EDXL messages. It supports information exchange in order to advance incident preparedness and response to emergency situations. CAP Version 1.0 was successfully standardized in March of 2004. Voting on the CAP version 1.1 specification for (possible) approval as an OASIS Standard begins September 16, 2005.
Several OASIS member companies have certified that they are using CAP 1.1, including Warning Systems, Inc., Innovative Emergency Management, Inc., Anteon Corporation, Logic Innovations Inc., and OpenGIS Consortium. A CAP Wiki page reports that at least twenty-six (26) agencies are now using the CAP standard.
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a "simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task. CAP also facilitates the detection of emerging patterns in local warnings of various kinds, such as might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act."
According to a "Roadmap to Emergency Data Standards" Wiki document prepared by CAP v1.1 co-editor Art Botterell, CAP "was designed during 2001 and 2001 by an international ad-hoc Working Group of emergency managers and technology experts, based on a study on Effective Disaster Warnings published in late 2000 by the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommitee on Disaster Reduction. After a number of field trials and demonstrations in various parts of the U.S., CAP was adopted as an international standard by OASIS."
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) "standardizes the content of alerts and notifications across all hazards, including law enforcement and public safety as well as natural hazards such as severe weather, fires, earthquakes, and tsunami. Systems using CAP have shown that a single authoritative and secure alert message can quickly launch Internet messages, news feeds, television text captions, highway sign messages, and synthesized voice over automated telephone calls or radio broadcasts."
The OASIS Emergency Management TC has also released a Public Review Draft for the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Distribution Element v1.0 specification. EDXL is a broad initiative to create an integrated framework for a wide range of emergency data exchange standards to support operations, logistics, planning and finance. The OASIS EM TC participates in the design of format specifications (e.g., XML Schemas) based upon technical requirements provided by DHS and EIC. The primary goal of the EDXL project is to "facilitate emergency information sharing and data exchange across the local, state, tribal, national and non-governmental organizations of different professions that provide emergency response and management services. EDXL will accomplish this goal by focusing on the standardization of specific messages (messaging interfaces) to facilitate emergency communication and coordination particularly when more than one profession is involved."
The EDXL Distribution Element (DE) specification "describes a standard message distribution framework for data sharing among emergency information systems using the XML-based EDXL suite of specifications. This format may be used over any data transmission system, including but not limited to the SOAP HTTP binding. The primary purpose of the Distribution Element is to facilitate the routing of any properly formatted XML emergency message to recipients. DE may be thought of as a container, providing the information to route payload message sets such as Alerts or Resource Messages by including key routing information such as distribution type, geography, incident, and sender/recipient IDs."
Sixty-day public review of the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Distribution Element v1.0 specification extends from 29-August-2005 through 28-October-2005. "Public review from potential users, developers and stakeholders is an important part of the OASIS process to assure interoperability and quality."
The OASIS Emergency Management TC is now in the process of reviewing a proposed (initial) set of fourteen resource messages for standardization. The materials have been submitted "for standards review and formalization" by the Department of Homeland Security's Disaster Management e-Gov Initiative and its Standards Working Group. The initial proposed EDXL Resource Message Set includes: Request Resource; Response to Request Resource; Order Resource; Dispatch Resource; Request for Resource Information (RFI); Response to Request for Resource Information (RFI); Unsolicited Resource Offer; Release Resource; Request to Return Resource; Response to Request Return Resource; Request Resource Quote; Response to Request Resource Quote; Request for Resource Status; Resource Request Status.
According to the draft Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Standard Format for Resource Messaging submitted by EDXL Project Team, resource messages "focus on finding, requesting and getting resources to the incident, demobilization and return from the incident, and tracking resource time-line of all types of resources (human resources, vehicles, equipment, supplies, and facilities, as well as packages and teams composed of many of these). Resource messaging also advises others of status and who is requesting what, but does not address processes at/within the actual incident (i.e., At-Incident Management). Resource Messaging applies to everyday events (non-incidents) and incident preparedness (e.g., planning activities, where no current incident exists or has not been identified)."
The OASIS Emergency Management TC received an invitation from the EIC and DHS/DM to demonstrate CAP during Preparedness Month in Washington. This timely demonstration on September 28, 2005 was scheduled as part of National Preparedness Month, intended to focus on three major government users of CAP Version 1.0: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and CAPWIN (Capital Wireless Integrated Network).