The FCC has adopted rules to improve the way the public receives emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions, and radios.
The nation’s Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts help keep the public safe and informed and are of ever-increasing importance given the emergencies and disasters Americans have faced in recent years.
In 2018, however, a false emergency alert in Hawaii mistakenly warned of an incoming ballistic missile and highlighted the need to improve these systems.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 subsequently directed the FCC, in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to adopt rules to strengthen emergency alerting in various areas. Consistent with this directive, the FCC has adopted a Report and Order to ensure that more people receive relevant emergency alerts, enable government agencies to report any false alerts, and improve the way states plan for emergency alerts.
Specifically, the Report and Order:
The Commission also adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on additional potential improvements to the Emergency Alert System recommended by FEMA.