U.S. Senate Approves Wireless Emergency Alert System
Sep 15, 2006 News Release

The Senate on Tuesday adopted a wireless emergency alert system as part of a larger comprehensive port security bill it is debating. The Senate included language from a Commerce Committee approved bill to establish the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN). WARN is a national system for the transmission of public safety alerts across a broad variety of communications technologies including wireless technologies.

The Senate action essentially moves the Emergency Alert System out of the era of broadcast radio and television and into the wireless era, according to a release from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In addition to the threat posed by terrorist attacks, the system created by this amendment will give emergency managers the ability to alert communities of other hazards such as natural disasters and manmade accidents.

"With hurricane season upon us, we are reminded of how critical the WARN system is to help ensure that we are prepared for busy storm seasons," said Commerce Chairman Stevens. "Considering the National Hurricane Center's continued predictions, we cannot afford to wait any longer. The United States could be hit with major hurricanes again this year, and the House must act swiftly to implement this important warning system."

The amendment approved ensures that when disaster strikes, the wireless network will be able to be used as a tool so that almost all Americans will be notified through radio, television and wireless communications devices. There are over 200 million wireless subscribers in the United States. Additionally capabilities will allow other emergency managers to reach individuals away from their TVs or radios with specific life saving instructions.


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