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Maximizing Trust in the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Service

Special Report
This 2014 report presents recommendations for stakeholders of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service that resulted from the development of two trust models, focusing on how to increase both alert originators' and the public's trust in WEA.

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)


Trust is a key factor in the effectiveness of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service. Alert originators at emergency management agencies must trust WEA to deliver alerts to the public in an accurate and timely manner. The public must also trust the WEA service before they will act on the alerts that they receive. Managing trust in WEA is a responsibility shared among many stakeholders who are engaged with WEA. The objective of this research was to develop recommendations for alert originators, the Federal Emergency Management Agency,commercial mobile service providers, and suppliers of message-generation software that would enhance both alert originators' trust in the WEA service and the public's trust in the alerts that they receive. To do this, researchers reviewed alerting research,interviewed alerting experts, and surveyed alert originators and the public.The researchers then identified factors that influenced trust, modeled the relationships between the trust factors using mathematical and statistical techniques, simulated and evaluated scenarios addressing various combinations of trust factor inputs on the resulting perceptions of trust, and analyzed the results to identify the most significant factors influencing trust. This report presents the recommendations that resulted from this process.