Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Update to the Emergency Alert System Needed

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS) need to update the U.S. Emergency Alert System.  Currently the system is used to broadcast emergency messages over:  broadcast radio and television; cable and fiber optic television; and satellite radio and television. 
However, as time passes those audiences are shrinking.  Many people in their homes or cars aren’t listening to broadcast or satellite radio, they are instead listening to a streaming service such as Pandora, iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify through their smart phones.  Similarly, many people at home aren’t watching broadcast, cable, fiber optic, or satellite television, rather they are watching streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or iTunes.

So I propose that the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is updated such that it includes broadcasting over internet streaming audio and video services such as those listed above.  Otherwise sooner or later we will have an emergency that many people aren’t prepared for or react incorrectly to simply because they never got the word.  There’s always someone who doesn’t get the word let’s make sure that when it comes to Emergency Alert System messages that doesn’t become the case.

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