House Passes Bill to Modernize Public Alert and Warning System
Washington, D.C., March 22, 2016—The House of Representatives, yesterday, unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to modernize the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The intent of IPAWS is to leverage modern digital technology to send a message that can be easily distributed to the public through as many mediums as possible in the time of a national emergency. The system is more commonly used to convey alerts by State and local officials to the public regarding impending disasters and other emergency information in their areas.
S. 1180, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015, is the Senate companion to H.R. 1472, authored by Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA); Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR); Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA); and Emergency Management Subcommittee Ranking Member Andre Carson (D-IN).
“The way people communicate today is changing and this legislation ensures emergency messages will reach people on the devices they use most. The more people that can be alerted prior to a disaster, the more lives can be saved,” Shuster said.
Subcommittee Chairman Barletta added, “After Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, we learned in Pennsylvania how advance warnings to the public can save lives when a disaster hits. Making sure that people know the danger is an important safety measure, and it can help us keep down the costs of cleaning up afterwards. Keeping our systems up to date with the latest technology is an important part of keeping people safe.”
Summary of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015
- Authorizes the modernization of IPAWS, consistent with current funding levels, to work toward a nationwide integrated and interoperable system that will help save lives.
- Establishes clear system requirements and capabilities, as well as provides a clear framework for the development of IPAWS.
- Expands the collaboration of stakeholders, including federal, state, local, and private sector entities and ensures they have a clear method of providing input and recommendations through an advisory subcommittee.