Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Questions Ability, Efficiency of National Emergency Alert and Warning System Calls for Hearing, Demands that FEMA Modernize Outdated System

Sep 30, 2009
Press Release

For Immediate Release:

WASHINGTON, DC-Today Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the Ranking Republican of the Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, participated in a hearing on the nation’s emergency alert and warning system, which dates back to the 1960’s.  

“The ability to warn the public of an emergency is a life or death matter,” said Diaz-Balart.  “Undoubtedly, our current system is not sufficiently adequate, comprehensive or efficient and needs to be brought up to speed with present day technologies.”

“It is important that we ensure that our communities are properly prepared for a major disaster or national emergency. I demand that FEMA prioritize this matter and work with states and localities, as well as private partners, in identifying what works and implementing the necessary changes,” said Diaz-Balart.

“I thank Chairwoman Norton for working with me on this important issue that affects all Americans and also thank Chairman Oberstar and Ranking Member Mica for their support of the IPAWS legislation,” said Diaz-Balart.

Collier County Commissioner Jim Coletta from Diaz-Balart’s Congressional district was called to testify as a witness before the subcommittee.   

“Commissioner Coletta always puts the needs of our community first.  His leadership, service and commitment to Collier County are invaluable.  I thank him for his willingness to join Congress as we explore how to best improve our nation’s public alert and warning system, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to advance the needs of Southwest Florida,” said Diaz-Balart.  

Earlier this year, Diaz-Balart introduced H.R. 2591, The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Act, which requires FEMA to modernize and implement an integrated public alerts and warning system.  The hearing coincided with the release of a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office critical of federal efforts to update the emergency alert system.  To access the report visit:  For more information on today’s hearing titled: “This is NOT a Test: Will the Nation’s Emergency Alert System Deliver the President’s Message to the Public?” please visit: