Two bills seeking to “modernize” the nation’s emergency warning system over television, radio and the Internet, are being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by emergency management subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham, R-Calif.
The proposed Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Modernization Act and the proposed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Reauthorization Act seek to increase transparency and accountability while streamlining emergency preparedness efforts, according to Denham.
The IPAWS bill requires FEMA to modernize the nation’s 1950’s era warning systems with the latest technologies, Denham said. By modernizing those technologies, emergency alerts will reach a much higher percentage of the population and target such alerts to those in danger, he added.
The FEMA reauthorization bill would provide a framework for FEMA to implement up-to-date policies to effectively communicate about emergencies at no additional cost to the taxpayers, according to Denham.
“Recent disasters in my district and across the country emphasize just how important it is to have a fast and effective warning system in place to alert people of impending disasters,” Denham said.
Bill To Fund Emergency Communications Equipment Upgrades Introduced
The bill is in response to a FCC regulation requiring first responders to upgrade their communications equipment and spectrum licenses by Jan. 1, 2013.