Press Release

Members Approve Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) v1.1 as OASIS Standard

Boston, MA, USA; 30 November 2005 — OASIS, the international e-business standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) version 1.1 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. Developed through an open process by the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee, CAP provides a simple, general-purpose format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over any network.

"CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different systems, increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the notification task," said Elysa Jones of Warning Systems, Inc., chair of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee. "Since the approval of CAP v1.0 in 2004, the standard has been deployed by a wide variety of government agencies and companies within the emergency management community. CAP v1.1 incorporates many lessons learned in the production implementation of the standard."

Jones cited several high-profile CAP implementations, including the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

"CAP is an integral part of relaying civil emergency messages on the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards and other NWS dissemination systems," said Mark Paese, Director, Operations Division for NOAA’s National Weather Service. "Its success is an excellent example of how the emergency management community and the government can work together to increase the effectiveness of emergency alerting."

The United States Geological Survey is pleased to be providing information about earthquakes and volcano and landslide advisories in CAP format," said David Oppenheimer, a seismologist with the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. "The advantage of CAP is that it allows the USGS to instantaneously distribute our earthquake information to a wide audience of emergency responders in an approved message format." The USGS automatically distributes CAP messages about earthquakes within minutes after their occurrence as well as advisories via the Disaster Management Interoperability Services (DMIS) and as an RSS feed from the USGS website.

CAP v1.1 enhancements include flexible geographic targeting using latitude/longitude shapes and other geospatial representations in three dimensions; multilingual and multi-audience messaging; phased and delayed effective times and expirations; enhanced message update and cancellation features; template support for framing complete and effective warning messages; compatibility with digital encryption and signature; and a facility for digital images and audio.

Chip Hines, Program Manager for the Disaster Management eGov Initiative Office of the Chief Information Officer Emergency Preparedness and Response/FEMA Department of Homeland Security, noted, "Not only does the publication of the CAP OASIS Standard signify an increase in capability to send alerts, it also shows that the process works–that the emergency community is ready, willing, and able to bring standards into their operations. CAP has grown into a standard that is being adopted worldwide, helping the seamless transition of a host of alerts across platforms and systems. The end result is a world better prepared for any emergency."

"The CAP OASIS Standard is being used in many exciting ways, some that weren’t envisioned in the initial stages of its development. It offers tremendous benefits for local public safety environments as well as in global and regional efforts, such as tsunami warnings," said Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. "With this work and their continuing efforts, members of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee are responding well to today’s critical need for enhanced response. There is little doubt that the use of CAP offers the potential to save lives."

The OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee remains open to new participation and particularly seeks input from those in the international community to advance CAP in alignment with other specifications in its Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) suite. All interested parties are encouraged to exchange information on implementing CAP via the cap-dev mailing list ( As with all Consortium projects, archives of the OASIS Emergency Management Committee’s work are accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment on the standard.

About OASIS:

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. The consortium produces open standards for Web services, security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DITA, DocBook, DSML, ebXML CPPA, ebXML Messaging, ebXML Registry, OpenDocument, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WSDM, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WS-Security, XACML, XCBF, and XML Catalogs.

Additional information:

OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee


Press contact:

Carol Geyer Director of Communications OASIS +1.978.667.5115 x209