Perhaps Harvey and Irma pushed the United States government into action. The Senate has passed the ‘‘Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act of 2017,” also known as The SANDy Act. As far as radio is concerned, it’s added to the list of essential services during federally declared emergencies. The goal of the legislation is to tighten up the process by which those affected by disasters get access to vital information.
Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel released the following statement regarding the unanimous passage of the SANDY Act by the United States Senate: “In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, I was pleased to see the United States Senate’s unanimous passage of the SANDy Act of 2017 last night. We know that weather-related emergencies and other disasters can occur anywhere at any time and this legislation comes not a moment too soon. Among other things, it promises to help speed restoration of essential communications in times of disaster. Kudos to Senators Cantwell, Booker, Thune, Nelson, Rubio, Menendez, and Schumer for their leadership, as well as to Congressman Frank Pallone for his previous work to secure passage of this legislation in the House.”
NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said, “NAB applauds the Senate’s passage of the SANDy Act and urges its quick signature into law by the President. As Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have demonstrated, hometown radio and TV stations play a lifesaving role as ‘first informers’ during times of emergencies, and this legislation will provide local broadcasters with access to vital resources to stay on the air when disaster strikes. We are grateful to Rep. Pallone for spearheading this effort after he witnessed firsthand the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and thanks to Senators Cantwell, Booker, Thune, Rubio, Nelson, Menendez, and Schumer for their leadership in the Senate.”
Read the Senate’s SANDy Act HERE