RealNews

Ridge endorses upgraded public warning system

Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge today pledged his department’s support for media companies’ efforts to improve existing emergency warning methods and promoted the idea of a warning system that would reach cell phones, pagers and other mobile communications systems. Ridge spoke at the biannual meeting of the Media Security and Reliability Council at the Federal Communications Commission. The council, a 41-member federal advisory committee, is due to recommend by June 18 best practices for emergency communications. In its first 23 months of work, the council has reviewed ways that local and national media companies cope with natural disasters, terrorist attacks and power outages, among other crises. FCC chairman Michael Powell said, “The most important responsibility the government and media share during times of crisis is to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens.… The recommendations we have seen today address some of the biggest challenges we must face regarding delivery of a reliable public warning system.” Full Story

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