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SB-833 Emergencies: Office of Emergency Services: guidelines: alert and warning systems.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/06/2018 02:00 PM
SB833:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 06, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 05, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 21, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 833


Introduced by Senators McGuire, Dodd, and Hill
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Levine, and Wood)

January 04, 2018


An act to add Sections 8588.4 and 8594.6 Section 8593.7 to the Government Code, relating to emergency services. emergencies.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 833, as amended, McGuire. Emergency alerts: evacuation orders: operators. Emergencies: Office of Emergency Services: guidelines: alert and warning systems.
The California Emergency Services Act establishes the Office of Emergency Services (OES) in the office of the Governor and provides that OES is responsible for the state’s emergency and disaster response services for natural, technological, or manmade disasters and emergencies. The act also provides for systems for the public dissemination of alerts regarding missing children, attacks upon law enforcement officers, and missing persons who are 65 years of age or older, among others, and requires the Department of the California Highway Patrol to activate these systems and issue alerts upon the request of a law enforcement agency if certain conditions are met.

This bill would require that mass notifications and the communication of protective actions be conveyed broadly or to a targeted population based on the conditions and risk assessment of the responsible local government and specify options for notification. The bill would further require, on or before January 1, 2019, OES to establish guidelines and best practices for public alerts and warnings and the use of mass notification systems, as provided. On or before July 1, 2019, the bill would require OES to both ensure that each emergency management office within a county or city shall become a registered IPAWS WEA operator and has up-to-date IPAWS software and equipment. The bill also would require OES to ensure that emergency management personnel trained on the WEA system receive yearly training in IPAWS and WEA software and equipment operation.

The bill, upon appropriation by the Legislature, would require an emergency management office within a county or city and county to be provided moneys for the purposes of implementing this provision. The bill also would authorize the state and local government agencies to receive in-kind contributions or donations from the private sector, or grant funds from the federal government for this provision. By increasing the duties of local governments, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

This bill, on or before July 1, 2019, would require OES, in consultation with specified entities, to develop voluntary guidelines for alerting and warning the public of an emergency. The bill would require OES to provide each city, county, and city and county with a copy of the guidelines.
This bill would authorize OES to impose conditions upon voluntary application for grant funding that it administers requiring operation of alert and warning activities consistent with the guidelines. The bill would also require OES, within 6 months of making the statewide guidelines available and at least annually thereafter and through its California Specialized Training Institute, to provide the personnel of each emergency management office within a county with training on the guidelines and the federal Wireless Emergency Act (WEA).
This bill would authorize OES to adopt emergency regulations for these purposes, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) The size and scope of wildland fires in California have grown significantly over the past decade. These disasters have put the lives of millions at risk and the need to alert residents of danger from these unprecedented disasters has never been greater.

(b)While opt-in emergency alert systems, such as Nixel, are critical to the safety of residents, it has become clear that the state must develop an emergency alert system that is deployed to all residents on multiple communication mediums and not just to those who subscribe to opt-in systems.

(c)

(b) The Northern northern California firestorm of 2017 is the most destructive and deadly wildland fire disaster in American history.

(d)

(c) The death toll from blazes in northern California remains at 44 people, including 24 people in the County of Sonoma, nine 9 people in the County of Mendocino, seven 7 people in the County of Napa, and four 4 people in the County of Yuba.

(e)

(d) Nearly 245,000 acres were burned in the northern California fires.

(f)

(e) The Southern southern California wildfires of December 2017, including the Thomas Fire, burned over 307,000 acres.

(g)

(f) The Thomas Fire is the largest wildland fire in California’s modern history, which burned 281,893 acres.
(g) The January 2018 mudslides in the County of Santa Barbara caused by the Thomas Fire killed at least 21 people.
(h) While opt-in emergency alert systems are critical to the preservation of human life, it has become clear that multiple communication mediums and not just opt-in systems may be necessary to protect lives and save property.

(h)

(i) The federal Wireless Emergency Alert Alerts (WEA) system is a component of the federal Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) that allows customers who own certain wireless telephones and other enabled mobile devices to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. The WEA system was established in 2008 pursuant to the federal Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act and became operational in 2012. Since then, over 21,000 33,000 WEA alerts have been issued.

(i)

(j) Authorized national, state, or local government authorities may send alerts regarding public safety emergencies—such as evacuation orders or shelter-in-place orders due to severe weather, a terrorist threat, chemical spill, or other hazards—using the IPAWS program to access WEA. WEA system.

(j)

(k) The alerts from authenticated public safety officials are sent through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) IPAWS system to participating wireless carriers, which then broadcast push the alerts to mobile devices in the affected area.

(k)

(l) The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system, which is another component of IPAWS, system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite providers to provide the communications capability to the President of the United States to address the American public during a national emergency. When in conformity conformance with federal rules and regulations, the system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information targeted to specific areas.

(l)

(m) It is the intent of the Legislature that that, in the event of another catastrophe like the 2017 firestorms, every tool be used to prevent another catastrophe such as the north coast firestorm. alert and warn all members of the public in the affected area.
(n) The Legislature finds and declares that the safety of local communities requires designated alerting authorities to ensure they have multiple operators, adequate testing and training, and functional equipment and software. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature that, to the extent designated alerting authorities have difficulty acquiring or maintaining adequate alert and warning resources, those designated alerting authorities may consult with the Office of Emergency Services on best practices to achieve those goals.
SEC. 2.Section 8588.4 is added to the Government Code, to read:
8588.4.

(a)On or before July 1, 2019, the Office of Emergency Services (OES) shall ensure both of the following:

(1)That each emergency management office within a county or city and county shall become a registered federal Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) operator.

(2)That each emergency management office within a county or city and county has functional, up-to-date IPAWS software or state-sanctioned equivalent software along with suitable ancillary equipment needed to operate the WEA system or state-sanctioned equivalent emergency alert software.

(b)The Office of Emergency Services shall ensure that the personnel of each emergency management office within a county that are trained on the WEA system receive training in IPAWS and WEA equipment and software operation at least once each year.

SEC. 3.Section 8594.6 is added to the Government Code, to read:
8594.6.

(a)Mass notification and the communication of protective actions shall be conveyed broadly or to a targeted population based on the conditions and risk assessment of the responsible local government. Options for notification shall include local digital signs, radio, television, focused text, automated emergency notification systems, or other technologies, as appropriate, in addition to the federal Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, if authorized and under conditions permitted by the federal government.

(b)A local government agency or state agency that uses the federal WEA system to alert a specified area of an evacuation order shall use terminology developed by the office pursuant to subdivision (d).

(c)When the emergency management office within a county or city and county uses the federal WEA system to alert a specified area of an evacuation order, the emergency management office shall also send an equivalent alert to all landline phones within the evacuation area.

(d)On or before January 1, 2019, the Office of Emergency Services shall establish the following guidelines and best practices for public alerts and warnings and the use of mass notification systems:

(1)Guidelines and protocols for when and how the alerts should be sent, including, but not limited to, standardized terminology for emergency alerts.

(2)Guidelines for sending alerts to cell phones and landline phones.

(3)Procedures for verifying, initiating, modifying, and canceling alerts transmitted via an alert system.

(4)Guidelines for the technical capabilities of the WEA and EAS functions within an alert system, pursuant to current Federal Emergency Management Agency and Federal Communications Commission regulations.

(5)Guidelines for the technical capability that provides for the priority transmission of alerts, where technically feasible, by the non-WEA and EAS functions of an alert system.

(6)Guidelines for other capabilities of the non-WEA functions of an alert system.

(7)Guidelines for equipment and technologies used by the non-WEA and EAS functions of an alert system.

(8)Cost estimates for technology purchasing.

(e)Upon appropriation by the Legislature, an emergency management office within a county or city and county shall be provided moneys for the purpose of implementing Section 8588.4 and this section. The state and local government agencies also may receive in-kind contributions or donations from the private sector, or grant funds from the federal government, for these purposes.

(f)This section shall not be construed to limit the ability of emergency management offices or other WEA operators to use the WEA system for other emergency purposes.

SEC. 4.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8593.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

8593.7.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2019, the Office of Emergency Services, in consultation with telecommunications carriers, the California cable and broadband industry, the California State Association of Counties, the disability community, appropriate federal agencies, and the Standardized Emergency Management System Alert and Warning Specialist Committee, shall develop guidelines for alerting and warning the public of an emergency. Those guidelines shall include, at minimum, the following:
(1) Timelines for sending alerts during an emergency.
(2) Practices for sending advance warnings of an impending threat.
(3) Practices for testing, training on, and exercising a city’s, county’s, or city and county’s alert and warning system.
(4) Consideration for coordinating alerts with neighboring jurisdictions.
(5) Guidelines and protocols for redundancy and utilizing multiple forms of alerts.
(6) Guidelines and protocols for chain of command communications and accounting for staffing patterns to ensure a trained operator is always on call.
(7) Practices for effective notifications to the access and functional needs population as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 8593.3.
(8) Message templates.
(9) Common terminology.
(b) (1) The Office of Emergency Services shall provide each city, county, and city and county with a copy of the guidelines developed according to subdivision (a).
(2) Six months after the Office of Emergency Services provides the guidelines to each city, county, and city and county, the office may impose conditions upon a city’s, county’s, or city and county’s voluntary application for any grant funds that have a nexus to emergency management performance that the office administers, requiring that city, county, or city and county to operate its alert and warning activities in a manner that is consistent with the guidelines developed pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) Within six months of making the guidelines available pursuant to subdivision (b) and at least annually, the Office of Emergency Services, through its California Specialized Training Institute, shall provide the personnel of each emergency management office within a county with training on the federal Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. The training shall include, at minimum, information regarding the evaluation, purchase, and operation of WEA and the Emergency Management Agency (EAS) equipment and software, including access and functional needs capabilities; the technical capabilities of the WEA and EAS function within an alert system, pursuant to current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission regulations, as amended from time to time; and the alert and warning guidelines developed in subdivision (a).
(d) The safety of local communities requires designated alerting authorities to ensure that they have multiple operators, adequate testing and training, and functional equipment and software. To the extent designated alerting authorities have difficulty acquiring or maintaining adequate alert and warning resources, they may consult with the Office of Emergency Services on best practices to achieve those goals.
(e) “Operator” means those personnel required by the designated alerting authority to transmit alert and warning messages.
(f) The Office of Emergency Services (OES) may adopt regulations to implement this section. The adoption, amendment, repeal, or readoption of a regulation authorized by this section is deemed to address an emergency, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the office is hereby exempted for this purpose from the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code.