Chairman Stevens Urges Congress to Pass WARN Act

May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC –  Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) today urged Congress to pass S. 1753, the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act of 2006, which establishes a national system for the transmission of public safety alerts across a broad variety of communications technologies.

The Senate Commerce Committee approved without objection the WARN Act on October 20, 2005.  In addition, Chairman Stevens worked to include $156 million in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 to fund the development of an all-hazards alert system and provisions of the Tsunami Preparedness Act of 2005, which are included in the WARN bill.

"Hurricane season will be upon us shortly. The WARN Act will help ensure we are prepared for another busy storm season," said Chairman Stevens. "Considering the National Hurricane Center's predictions, we cannot afford to wait any longer. The United States could be hit by four to six major hurricanes this year, and the House and Senate must act swiftly to implement this important warning system."

The national alert system will include technologies such as wireless communication devices, such as cell phones and Blackberries; the internet; digital, analog, cable, and satellite television; satellite and terrestrial radio; and non-traditional media, such as sirens and “radios-on-a-stick.” The legislation requires that alerts provide individuals with instructions about what to do in response to the specific threats.