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On Monday, April 11, 2016 President Obama signed the “Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015,” which requires FEMA to modernize and implement the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to help ensure that Federal, State, tribal, and local governments can alert the public in areas endangered by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other threats to public safety.

(original article from March 22, 2016🙂
A bill codifying IPAWS into law is on its way to the White House.  In 2015 the U.S. Senate passed S.1180, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act.  On March 21, 2016 the bill passed the House of Representatives and was sent to President Obama.

One of the major motivating forces behind the legislation was Suzanne Goucher, President and CEO of the Maine Association of Broadcasters who worked on the proposed law for several years.  Suzanne also chairs Maine’s State Emergency Communications Committee.

Features of the legislation:

  • authorizes IPAWS in law as it was originally created by an executive order from President Bush;
  • creates a national advisory council including representatives of the broadcast industry;
  • directs FEMA to integrate Emergency Alert System and IPAWS training for state & local officials (and might open the door to avenues of funding)

Congratulations to Suzanne and her colleagues for being the champions of this effort!

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