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House Committee Passes Public Warning Legislation

02.28.12 – The House Homeland Security Committee has passed new legislation, The Integrated Public Alert and Public Warning System Modernization Act of 2011 [H.R. 3563], which was introduced by U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) in December 2011.  The Act regards the “[modernization] and [implementation] of the national integrated public alert and warning system (IPAWS)” and calls to amend Title V of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by adding Section 526, which would establish common alerting protocols and operating procedures for warming systems in addition to regular nationwide tests of the system.  The Act stresses the accessibility of alerts by calling for the alert content to adapt to users’ needs, especially for people with disabilities, and for the dissemination of alerts to be subject to a users’ geographic location and personal preferences.  Lastly, the Act calls for the promotion of coordination between federal, state and local governments with the goal of “providing alerts that are accessible to the largest portion of the affected population feasible.”  Representative Bilirakis stated, “The public alert and warning systems have not been modernized in decades and we must ensure that alerts and warnings work reliably, effectively, and efficiently so that we can make information available to the largest number of people possible, while also protecting and ensuring individual privacy.” [Source: U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis]

Additional Information:

H.R 3563 the Integrated Public Alert and Public Warning System Modernization Act of 2011

[ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3563ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3563ih.pdf ]

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