Citation Edit

Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (WARN Act), Pub. L. No. 109-347, §603(a) (2006).

Overview Edit

The Act established: (1) a voluntary National Alert System to provide a public communications system capable of alerting the public to emergency situations on a national, regional, or local basis; and (2) the National Alert Office ("Office") within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to administer, operate, and manage the system.

It set forth system functions and capabilities, including: (1) enabling federal, state, tribal, or local government officials with credentials issued by the Office to alert the public to imminent threats that present a significant risk of injury or death; and (2) incorporating multiple communications technologied without interfering with existing alerts or communications systems employed by emergency response personnel.

It required the Office to establish a process for issuing credentials to enable officials responsible for issuing safety warnings to access the system.

It directed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate proceedings to: (1) allow licensees providing commercial mobile service to elect to transmit system alerts to subscribers; and (2) required public broadcast television licensees to install necessary equipment to enable transmitters to receive and retransmit system alerts.

It requireed the Director of the Office to: (1) establish a National Alert System Working Group to develop recommendations for protocols, procedures, guidelines, and standards and to work with the operators of nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure facilities to integrate emergency alert systems; and (2) establish an extramural research and development program to support the development of technology that will enable all existing and future providers of communications services and devices to be utilized effectively with the System.

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