By Lise Hamlin, director of public policy and state development
This is NOT a test: Will the Nation’s Emergency Alert System Deliver the President’s Message to the Public?—was the topic of a recent hearing before the House of Representative’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. In addition to testimony from the Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, Md, the Subcommittee heard testimony from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Government Accountability Office, Maryland State Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), a Florida County Commissioner, National Council of La Raza, and Las Vegas PBS, says a statement released by HLAA.
If an emergency happened tomorrow, do you know how you would get information and would it be accessible to you? If you live in a rural community that does not regularly caption the news, are you sure the emergency news that has been provided has captions or uses some other visual method (scrolling or crawling text, for example) to get the information to you? These are the kinds of questions we need to answer before an emergency, says the statement.
Chairwoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart had questions for FEMA. Others on the panel provided information to help the Committee ensure that information on emergencies gets out to everyone.
In an emergency, we need to be sure that every one of us is prepared. It’s up to us to provide information to Congress and FEMA about what we need in an emergency. It’s also up to us to talk to local emergency responders, to join in CERT teams and to be actively involved with emergency planning to ensure that you are safe in an emergency.
Click here to read HLAA’s testimony.