NAB’s Smith urges passage of new FEMA bill


Gordon SmithThe Federal Emergency Management Reauthorization Act of 2011 is on the table, and NAB President/CEO has written to key House members in support, due to its language strengthening America’s public alert and warning system.

The letter went to Committee on Transportaion and Infrastructure Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall II (D-WV); and Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Pete King (R-NY) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS).

Smith said broadcasters, America’s first informers in times of emergency, are strongly supportive of the bill.

“The FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2011 is an important step towards expanding the nation’s public warning system by integrating multiple communications systems and future technologies,” wrote Smith. “This legislation promotes local and regional public and private partnerships, and provides redundant alert mechanisms to reach the largest number of people during an emergency.”

Smith also spoke highly of the training component of the legislation, which will help authorities at all levels work effectively with broadcasters. NAB is part of the Advisory Committee working to improve coordination between all participants in emergency response.

“Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation,” Smith concluded. “America’s broadcasters take their role as first informers in times of emergency very seriously. We look forward to working with you to strengthen our nation’s warning system to help keep all Americans safe.”