(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 30, 2008 - The House passed the emergency alert system advisory committee bill, co-authored by Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), in a vote of 90-4 today. The bill will now move to the Senate.
Through the provisions of the bill, the emergency alert system advisory committee will develop, update and monitor the effectiveness of the state emergency alert system plan. The committee will make any recommendations for the acquisition of technology and equipment needed to make the emergency notification system effective on a timely basis for the whole state. The purchasing of the equipment will be done through the state police department. Local primary relaying stations with monitoring equipment is the ultimate goal.
"This is an important bill," said Rep. Soliday. "During 9/11, I was responsible for the crisis center at United Airlines. One of the big things that happened was our communication ability went to zero. We were unable to use e-mail systems. Cell phones were practically unusable. We needed the ability to communicate.
"The broadcast system is key in a critical event be it thunderstorms or be it an attack from someone undesirable. The current system has some holes in it, and this bill plugs a lot of those holes."