The U.S. House of Representatives passed a public warning improvement bill — the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act. The legislation, S. 1180, introduced by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Senator Claire McCaskill, (D-MO), integrates multiple communication systems like EAS and wireless alerts, promotes local and regional public and private partnerships, and provides redundant alert mechanisms to reach the largest number of people during an emergency.
The legislation also establishes a training program to instruct federal, state, tribal, and local government officials in system use. It includes the capability to alert those with disabilities and those who have limited English proficiency. NAB Executive Vice President 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.” The bill now goes to the President for his signature.