Your Deep Focus playlist may soon be interrupted by those frightening tones and messages from the Emergency Broadcast system, if a bi-partisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate passes.
Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and John Thune (R-S.D) have introduced the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act. The bill would ensure more people receive emergency alerts on their cell phones, TVs and radios, and expand them to online video and audio streaming services including Spotify and Netflix.
“When a missile alert went out across Hawai‘i in January, some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios. Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts,” said Senator Schatz, lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “Our bill fixes a number of important problems with the system responsible for delivering emergency alerts. In a real emergency, these alerts can save lives so we have to do everything we can to get it right.”
In addition to the READI Act, Senator Schatz introduced the ALERT Act earlier this year. The legislation, which passed the Senate last month, would give the federal government the primary responsibility of alerting the public of a missile threat.