The Senate passed the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Modernization Act of 2016, S. 1180, on Monday.
The bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), would modernize the nation’s public alert and warning system to ensure that federal and state officials can quickly and efficiently alert their citizens during disasters, threats to public safety and acts of terrorism.
“In an emergency, information is crucial,” Johnson said. “This bill takes important steps to expand our nation’s public warning system to ensure the largest number of people are reached. The IPAWS Modernization Act also ensures effective training and collaboration so that when an emergency hits, we are ready. I was pleased to have guided this bipartisan bill through the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this year and am equally pleased to see it pass the House. I look forward to having President Obama sign this into law and thereby strengthen our nation’s public warning system.”
The bill authorizes the modernization of IPAWS consistent with current funding levels, establishes clear system requirements and capabilities, provides a clear framework for the modernization of IPAWS, and expands the collaboration of stakeholders.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a companion bill on Monday.