Originally published: October 2, 2013
Last updated: October 16, 2013 - 2:42pm
A National Association of Broadcasters witness told a House subcommittee that TV and radio remain key to the nation's emergency alert system. WFMZ-TV President and GM Barry Fisher told Congress that while targeted wireless emergency alerts are an important part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency toolkit that does not reduce the importance of broadcasting as a ubiquitous emergency information delivery system that can reach areas where cell service may not go, or where it has been knocked out.
Fisher's testimony came in a FEMA reauthorization hearing in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. Congress is considering legislation to improve emergency alerts via the broadcast and cable Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System). "When the power goes out, when phone service is limited and the Internet goes down, broadcasters are always there and are always on the air," he said in his opening statement.
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