WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 15, 2020 – The House Appropriations Committee today recommended $20 million for public broadcasting’s Next Generation Warning System within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Fiscal Year 2021 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.
This funding would help support public broadcasting’s work in alert and warning and public safety communications.
“America’s Public Television Stations are most grateful that the House Appropriations Committee has recommended an appropriation of $20 million for public broadcasting’s Next Generation Warning System for Fiscal Year 2021,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.
“This new program will enhance public broadcasting stations' public safety mission in material ways by allowing us to invest in new technology that will improve the mobility, interactivity, ubiquity and reliability of our alert and warning infrastructure. This Next Gen technology will also enable us to use our licensed broadcast spectrum more efficiently in our growing partnerships with local, state and national law enforcement, first responder and homeland security agencies.
“Public television stations have worked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate the effectiveness of our public safety communications capability in flood control and evacuation, school shooting scenarios, large crowd management, over-water emergency communications and other life-saving applications.
“Public television stations have also partnered with the California Office of Emergency Services to reduce the early earthquake warning standard from 30 seconds to less than 3 seconds. We’ve built a statewide Emergency Communications Network with the State of Tennessee, public media stations in Florida created an emergency network that delivers up-to-the minute weather and news reports during severe weather events in Florida and South Carolina, and we’ve pursued many other alert and warning initiatives across America.
“This funding will make it possible to do more of this work, more effectively, in more places, helping save more lives and property in emergency situations.
“Thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Granger, and Subcommittee Chairwoman Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Fleischmann, and the full membership of the appropriations committee, public television stations will now be much better prepared to do our part to keep America safe.”
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.