OASIS Members Form Committee to Promote Adoption of Emergency Management Standards

AtHoc, Canadian Association for Public Alerting and Notification, Desktop Alert, US Department of Defense, US Department of Homeland Security, Warning Systems (WSI), and Others Collaborate to Support CAP and EDXL Implementations

Boston, MA, USA; 25 June 2009 — The international open standards consortium, OASIS, has formed a new group to encourage and support the adoption of information exchange standards that help improve the speed and quality of emergency response activities. The new OASIS Emergency Management (EM) Adoption Committee--a diverse group of government agencies, public safety organizations, associations, and vendors--will work together to broaden use of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and the family of Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) standards.

"Governments around the world are mandating use of CAP and EDXL," noted Werner Joerg of IEM and Thomas Ferrentino, co-chairs of the OASIS EM Adoption Committee. "Our goal is to provide neutral ground where implementers and solution providers can connect, share experiences, and define best practices for deploying interoperable systems based on CAP and EDXL."

One of the first activities of the new Committee will be a two-day Emergency Interoperability Summit, which will be held in Washington, D.C. in September, co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The EM Adoption Committee is also working on a series of webinars, whitepapers, primers, and slide presentations. It will engage in outreach with other organizations and communities-of-interest, such as the world-wide meteorological community.

"The adoption of emergency management standards, already strong in the United States, is growing in the rest of the world, especially the European Union," said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS. "We're happy to see the EM Adoption Committee actively soliciting participation from governments, companies, and organizations around the world. Emergencies don't recognize national boundaries; global participation in this work is essential."

The EM Adoption Committee coordinates its activities with the OASIS EM Technical Committee, which develops the CAP and EDXL specifications.

Support for Emergency Management Adoption

AtHoc
"In an emergency, no single form of communication reaches all people. Alerting people quickly through multiple communications channels such as computers, phones and sirens is central to an effective emergency response. Interoperability between these communication channels is key for successful dissemination to all target populace. This is why the establishment of the Emergency Management Adoption Committee is so important," said Aviv Siegel, Chief Technology Officer for AtHoc. "This OASIS committee will support development and market adoption of interoperable solutions — based on standards such as CAP and EDXL — that can communicate with each other to quickly and effectively spread critical information during times of emergency."

U.S. DHS
"The DHS Command, Control and Interoperability Division (CID) is pleased to be involved in the creation of the new OASIS EM Adoption Committee," said Dr. David Boyd, director of the Command, Control and Interoperability Division within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. "The increased adoption and use of EDXL standards is a crucial step toward enabling the exchange of real-time information between agencies' public safety systems, providing emergency responders with the resources necessary to keep our Nation safe."

WSI
"WSI has long been a strong advocate for open standards in emergency management. We believe you shouldn't have to replace existing equipment in order to realize the benefits of the latest technologies. By being interoperable with other standards-compliant applications, WSI's alert and warning systems protect and respect our customers' investment," said Patrick J. Gannon, President and COO, WSI. "WSI has provided leadership in the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee since 2004, and we look forward to playing a major role in this new EM Adoption Committee."

Additional information:

OASIS EM Adoption Committee
OASIS EM Technical Committee
OASIS Emergency Interoperability Member Section

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 open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, and other applications. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. http://www.oasis-open.org

Press contact:
Carol Geyer
OASIS Director of Communications
carol.geyer@oasis-open.org
+1.978.667.5115 x209 (office)
+1.941.284.0403 (mobile)