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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 17, 2020.
Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act of 2020 or READI Act
This bill modifies how citizens receive emergency alerts through wireless and broadcast emergency alert systems.
Specifically, the bill includes emergency alerts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a type of alert that mobile subscribers may not block from their devices. (Currently, only alerts from the President may not be blocked.)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must adopt regulations that encourage states to establish a State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) and provide that each SECC meets at least annually to review and update its Emergency Alert System (EAS) Plan. The FCC must approve or disapprove the updated plan.
The FCC shall also (1) establish a system to receive from FEMA or state, tribal, or local governments reports of false alerts under the EAS or the Wireless EAS and to record such false alerts and examine their causes; (2) modify the EAS to provide for repeating messages while an alert remains pending; and (3) examine the feasibility of offering EAS alerts through the internet, including through audio and video streaming services.