Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Applauds FCC Waiver for Earthquake Early Warnings

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Washington, D.C., September 27, 2019 | comments
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect the viability of earthquake early warning systems like ShakeAlert as they make changes to the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). The waiver issued by the FCC will ensure alerts issued by the ShakeAlert system will reach affected individuals’ cell phones in a timely manner, increasing their chances of being able to get to safety.
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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect the viability of earthquake early warning systems like ShakeAlert as they make changes to the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). The waiver issued by the FCC will ensure alerts issued by the ShakeAlert system will reach affected individuals’ cell phones in a timely manner, increasing their chances of being able to get to safety.

The FCC is developing changes to the WEA system to improve alerts for wildfires. However the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has expressed concern that these changes could delay alerts in the event of an earthquake. In July, Herrera Beutler and 18 other members of Congress sent a letter urging the FCC to work with USGS to ensure earthquake alerts would not be negatively impacted by changes to the WEA system.

“Earthquakes pose a major threat to families in Southwest Washington and early warnings can save lives and property. I’m pleased the FCC responded favorably to our request to protect the viability of our earthquake early warning system,” Herrera Beutler said. “ShakeAlert system is a vital tool that will save lives by alerting citizens and communities of incoming earthquakes and give them precious time to get to safety.”

From Herrera Beutler’s position on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, she has supported $83.4 million for the Earthquake Hazards program, including more than $16 million for the continued development of the earthquake early warning system in Washington and along the Pacific coast.

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