Emergency preparedness and emergency alerts will be on the top of the FCC March meeting agenda in the wake of Winter Storm Uri. Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel outlined her agenda for the commissions open March meeting in her February 23 “Notes from the Acting Chairwomen” blogpost.

“Here’s a preview of what we have on deck for our March Open Meeting,” she wrote. “It’s a flurry of orders, rulemakings, inquiries, and adjudications aimed at advancing the United States’ economic recovery and preparing for a post-COVID world. So, here’s what we’ve got:

  • “We’re taking steps to better prepare for emergencies like Winter Storm Uri. We know that the breakdown of communications during an emergency can lead to preventable loss of life and damage to property. So the FCC will consider an Order that would permit the agency to share important information about communications outages with state and federal partners. This will go a long way to ensuring that downed networks are restored quickly and that emergency operations are not delayed. My thoughts are with those affected, and we stand ready to help.
  • “We’re proposing updates to the way Americans receive emergency alerts wherever they are—on their phones, on television, and on radio. We will consider a rulemaking that proposes new rules to keep the public safe and informed during emergencies and disasters, and an inquiry on whether it would be possible to deliver emergency alerts via other forms of communications. This will implement the bipartisan READI Act, which was enacted into law as Section 9201 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.”

Read more about topics on the FCC’s March meeting agenda on Rosenworcel’s Notes from the Acting Chairwomen.

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