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Sens. Brian Schatz, John Thune Reintroduce READI Act to Improve Public Emergency Alerts

Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and John Thune, R-S.D., are reintroducing the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act focused on the rapid dissemination of emergency alerts on disasters and missile threats to the general public.

Schatz’s office said Thursday the legislation is aimed at ensuring that emergency alerts issued by federal, state, local and tribal governments are quickly transmitted through radio, television and mobile devices as well as new channels like online media and streaming sites.

In addition, the READI Act seeks to detect false alerts that don’t come from platforms and systems operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Federal Communications Commission. It also mandates state emergency communications committees to conduct periodic reviews on their emergency alert system strategy to ensure that these are up-to-date.

“Our bill fixes a number of important problems with the system responsible for delivering emergency alerts,” Schatz said. “In a real emergency, these alerts can save lives so we have to do everything we can to get it right.”

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