Launch and maintain your Alerts


We’ll work with you to establish a time to go live.

Once you’ve launched, continue working with Google as outlined below to keep your alerts in good working order.

Maintain your alerts

Once your alerts are publicly visible, it’s very important to maintain a dedicated and responsive team to ensure a good product experience.

What’s expected from Google?
Regularly process user comments and feedback, and gather performance insights.
What's expected from you?
Quickly acknowledge and resolve issues that Google reports to you, such as downed feeds or unparseable CAP content.

Publish periodic test alerts

Work with your Google Team to agree on a testing schedule, especially if you only occasionally publish alerts.

Please follow these testing guidelines:

  • Always use <status>Test</status> to prevent the public from seeing test alerts. You should also verify that your other distribution channels respect the Test flag too.
  • Create test alerts for your most extreme event types.
  • Publish test CAP alerts to your normal production feed, not a staging or test environment.
  • You may use actual info from a past event, but ensure <sent>, <effective>, and <expires> times are current to the test.
  • Issue at least one test update, cancellation, or all-clear message along with the initial test alert to be sure that the updating mechanism is working as intended.

We’ll follow up with you after the test to confirm whether we ingested the alerts successfully, or to report any issues that should be resolved.

Notify Google Public Alerts of changes

To ensure that end users continue to receive correct alerting information, we recommend that you establish public or clear mechanisms to notify Google and the public about updates to your CAP format or additional data.

Provide a news feed (RSS) like NOAA's SCN feed or send an email to that announces all updates, preferably linking to the new version of any updated information.

Email in advance of major setup or configuration changes. Announce changes well in advance, including the expected date of implementation change.

If possible, we’d like to know about the following at least 30 days in advance:

  • New types of alerts or events
  • Changes to critical values of your CAP data for existing event/alert types
  • Changes to your geodata/shapefiles
  • Planned feed downtime or maintenance
  • New feed URL
  • New certificates (before the old ones expire), if you digitally sign your CAP