Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) have introduced the “Authenticating Local Emergencies and Real Threats (ALERT) Act.” They say this bill would improve the emergency alert system and give the federal government the sole responsibility of alerting the public of a missile threat, prohibiting state and local governments from doing so.
The ALERT Act also mandates the following:
- Requires FEMA to establish a process to notify state authorities when a missile alert is issued so they can activate their own protective action plans to ensure public safety;
- Requires the IPAWS subcommittee of the FEMA National Advisory Council to make recommendations on the best practices that state and local governments should follow to maintain the integrity of IPAWS.
- Requires FEMA to establish minimum requirements for state and local governments to participate in IPAWS within 120 days of receiving the subcommittee’s recommendations.
- Requires FEMA to establish a process to test the incident management and warning tool that a state or local government adopts to originate and send alerts to the public in the FEMA IPAWS Lab
- Requires FEMA to review its Emergency Operations, National Watch and Regional Watch Centers to assess their ability to track state and local alerts issued under IPAWS and determine which ones they should be notified about when states send them out.