Congress Passes IPAWS Modernization Bill
March 21, 2016 at 4:31 PM (PT)
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that modernizes the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), S. 1180, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015, passed by voice vote this afternoon.
The bill, passed by the Senate last JULY, directs FEMA to "modernize the integrated U.S. public alert and warning system to help ensure that under all conditions the President, federal agencies, and state, tribal, and local governments can alert and warn the civilian population in areas endangered by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters or threats to public safety." It requires FEMA to come up with standard alert and warning protocols and adaptability for different regions and technologies.
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS' EVP of Communications DENNIS WHARTON said, "NAB applauds the House's bipartisan passage of this legislation strengthening the public's access to important emergency warnings and alerts. As 'first informers,' local radio and television stations understand the crucial need for up-to-the-second information when danger is near. We thank the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Homeland Security Committees, and Senators RON JOHNSON and CLAIRE MCCASKILL, for their leadership on this bill and we support President OBAMA's swiftly signing it into law."