Congressman releases statement regarding improvements to emergency alerts system
–Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-Santa Barbara) recently released the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to implement improvements to the nation’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system:
“After the Central Coast experienced unnecessary increased confusion and anxiety as a result of overly broad alerts, the enhancements to our emergency alerts system is a welcome decision for our community. Clarity during a crisis is essential to protecting lives and informing the public. I am grateful that the FCC listened to the concerns of local governments employing these systems, and made these potentially life-saving changes to increase geo-targeting capabilities, extend the character limit on their alerts, and include Spanish-language messages.”
After the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides exposed shortcomings in the Wireless Emergency Alert system, Carbajal wrote to the FCC and FEMA requesting them to consider improvements. The enhanced geo-targeting capabilities will go into effect in November 2019. The ability to support Spanish-language content and extend the character limit from 90 to 360 characters should be available by May 1, 2019.