FEMA Reauthorization Bill Includes Alert Tests Every 3 Years, Advisory Committee
October 23, 2013 at 4:35 AM (PT)
The expected introduction in Congress of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Reauthorization Act (HR 3300) includes provisions to modernize the integrated public alert and warning system, including Emergency Alert System activation.
Among the features of the bill, introduced by House Transportation Committee Chair BILL SHUSTER (R-PA) and Ranking Member NICK J. RAHALL, II (D-WV) and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman LOU BARLETTA (R-PA) and Ranking Member ANDRE CARSON (D-IN), is a passage that requires that FEMA "establish and integrate into the National Incident Management System a comprehensive and periodic training program to instruct and educate Federal, State, tribal, and local government officials in the use of the Common Alerting Protocol enabled Emergency Alert System" and requires that it "conduct, at least once every 3 years, periodic nationwide tests of the public alert and warning system." The bill also authorizes use of $12,733,000 per year through 2016 for implementation and would establish an advisory committee that would include broadcasters.
SHUSTER said, “I am proud to build on the important work of this Committee to ensure accountability and strong Congressional oversight of FEMA. This bipartisan legislation will also take important steps to ensure fiscal responsibility, that preparedness and response systems keep up to date with modern technology, and that we support our emergency response personnel.”
BARLETTA said, “This legislation provides greater coordination between local, federal, and state personnel authorities for emergency responses. As a former mayor, and during the SEPTEMBER 2011 floods in PENNSYLVANIA, I saw firsthand that it is absolutely critical for all disaster response officials to work together to best serve the victims of the disaster. Reauthorizing FEMA will also provide for continued oversight and accountability of the executive branch.”
CARSON added, “The legislation we are offering today would reauthorize vital programs within FEMA. These initiatives are crucial for response efforts. As a former first responder, I am especially pleased with the changes to the Urban Search and Rescue program that would assist the families of emergency response personnel should they fall in the line of duty.”