Sens. Cruz, Cantwell Introduce Bi-Partisan Bills to Modernize Nation’s Weather Alert Radio

Sens. Cruz, Cantwell Introduce Bipartisan Bills to Modernize Nation’s Weather Alert Radio, Instant Messaging Service to Help Keep Texans Safe During Disasters

Texas Insider Report: (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Last week, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ranking Member and Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, respectively, introduced two bipartisan national weather bills aimed at modernizing the nation’s weather communication and radio service to help Texans and all Americans stay safe during weather disasters. The bills are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio Modernization Act and the National Weather Service Communications Improvement Act.

“When severe storms take out communications systems in Texas and other states, Americans need a reliable hazard communication system to inform them about how to stay safe. These bills would modernize NOAA’s Weather Radio so that we have fully functioning, reliable early warning systems and the ability to reach Texans with the information they need during disasters,” said Sen. Cruz.

“As severe weather events, wildfires and climate-related emergencies increase across the nation, local communities need reliable, real-time alerts to keep their families safe and homes secure,” said Sen. Cantwell.

“Together, these bipartisan bills would upgrade the National Weather Service’s transmission technology, expand radio alert coverage in rural communities, and repair weather radio stations across the country, including 17 stations in the State of Washington.”
 
Background:
The NOAA Weather Radio Modernization Act would:
  1.       Require upgrades to outdated weather radio technology to provide reliable and continuous weather and emergency alerts.
  2.       Expand radio coverage to rural areas that do not currently have access to the National Weather Radio alert system.
  3.       Increase National Weather Radio coverage to reach 98-99% of the United States population.
  4.       Update National Weather Radio infrastructure and reduce reliance on copper wire transmissions—which are increasingly unreliable as these systems age and are impacted by weather.
The National Weather Service Communications Improvement Act would:
  1.       Improve the National Weather Service’s internal instant messaging system.
  2.       Implement a modern cloud system to accommodate more users and faster service. 















 
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