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Federal Signal Urges House Of Representatives Committee To Support FEMA Reauthorization, Localize Emergency Management Decisions

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill., Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- During a U.S. House of Representatives oversight hearing last week, Federal Signal Corporation Industrial Systems Division, Safety & Security Group President Joe Wilson informed federal lawmakers about how taxpayer revenue can be better leveraged to improve our nation's disaster preparedness.

The hearing, Streamlining Emergency Management: Improving Preparedness, Response, and Cutting Costs, was held in response to recently introduced federal legislation ( H.R. 2903 and H.R. 2904) to help set the stage for congress to reauthorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and two of its expiring programs through fiscal year 2013, and establish a clear framework for the modernization of FEMA's public alerts and warning systems.

"The most effective strategies for tomorrow's emergency communications and mass notification systems will reflect the views of planners and decision makers on a local level," Wilson explained during his testimony before the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. "National, or even state priorities, are not always in sync with the demands of local communities. For that reason, decisions about how local communities utilize national grant dollars should be made at the local level."

Speaking prior to the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) said, "I introduced this legislation to streamline and improve our recovery process. At this hearing, we will hear from our witnesses about ways that Congress can assist FEMA and the nation to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters."

"It's during these times of economic challenge when local communities rely most upon FEMA to acquire public warning and notification systems," Wilson said. "It is critical that warning systems continue to be among the priority needs for which grant dollars can be spent."

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