A bill to reauthorize FEMA, as well as expand training for state and local emergency authorities and establish regular testing of the national EAS, has passed its first congressional hurdle.
The House Transportation Committee has approved H.R. 3300 by a voice vote. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.
The bill reauthorizes FEMA through fiscal year 2016, also authorizes the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. EAS is part of IPAWS, which disseminates emergency alerts and news through several technologies.
The measure establishes system requirements and IPAWS capabilities, provides a framework for IPAWS development, and ensures that stakeholders — including federal, state, local and private sector entities — have a way to provide input through a temporary advisory committee. Broadcasters would be part of this committee as well.
Committee Chairman Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Bill Shuster sponsored the bill, while co-sponsors are: ranking member West Virginia Democrat Rep. Nick Rahall, Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Lou Barletta and Subcommittee Ranking Member Indiana Democrat Rep. André Carson.