If you live on the West Coast, have you received text messages or emails about an emergency in another part of the country? That notification is generated from the Coast Guard Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (CGPAAS), which works in conjunction with the Alert and Warning System (AWS). These tools are undergoing updates to make accountability and notifications more accurate.
What is CGPASS?
CGPAAS is the tool the Coast Guard uses enabling commands to reach and account for all of their members and their dependents during and after emergencies. AWS is used to send the accountability message and other important information, such as active shooter and base and port closures to port partners.
CGPAAS provides automated responses for you to choose from and this provides an immediate accountability status, allowing commands to reach their accountability goal in less time. The Coast Guard then knows your situation and if you need assistance. If you do not respond to the CGPAAS messages, then the command has to call each person to account for them and their families. You need to make sure your information is updated in either Direct Access (military members) or MyEPP (civilian employees) in order to receive the correct alert.
“Timely information and accountability is important to protect and inform our people,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lina Anderson, CGPAAS/AWS program manager. “I encourage everyone to make sure their information is up-to-date and they can receive messages when they are needed.”
Anderson said they noticed last spring there were some technical difficulties that occurred in the process of AWS receiving updated information, just as new units for members who transferred. Those issues have been resolved, and a long-term fix is underway.
How do I make sure I receive the correct alert?
Currently, CGPAAS is undergoing upgrades due to data alert issues. All Coast Guard employees - active duty, reserve, and civilian - are encouraged to update your contact information in Direct Access and ID Card Office Online. Civilian employees are encouraged to also update their address in the National Finance Center. Also, it is prudent to add the known CGPAAS notification numbers to your contacts and to make sure these numbers are unblocked on your phone so you can be easily contacted and receive messages as needed.
It is easy to update your information even while the upgrades are in process. You have the convenience of a step-by-step tutorial here or on the CGPAAS Portal page, which shows how to update your information, which securely shares it with CGPAAS. If you would like to receive text messages, you need to make sure your cell phone number is in the relevant system. If it is labeled as a home phone number, it is treated as if it can only receive a voice phone call.
None of the updates that are being made to the system will affect general use, nor affect how you currently interact with the system. They will, however, make the personal information flow function better. Though most of the updates are now complete, there are some adjustments expected on the back-end that should be completed in the coming month.
To learn more click here.