Sunday, 16 December, 2018

‘Presidential Alert’: FEMA To Test Emergency Phone Message System

City of San Angelo & FEMA City of San Angelo & FEMA
Melinda Barton | 18 September, 2018, 10:54

This is not a test by local officials or the CodeRed Emergency Alert system. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The alert was initially scheduled to occur Thursday, September 20, but FEMA spokesman Mark Peterson tells CNN the test has been postponed, and October 3 was the alternate date for the test. "FEMA and the nation's emergency management community remain committed to the life-saving activities occuring through parts of North Carolina and SC", a FEMA spokesperson explained. The reason for delaying the wireless alert test is unclear.

At precisely 2:18 pm ET on October 3, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it will test the nation's first-ever "presidential alert", a system that will allow Trump to address the entire nation directly via text. If you've ever received one of those Amber Alerts on your phone, the October 3 alert will pop up similarly.

"THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

"WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message", FEMA explained, but noted that some phones will not receive the alert.

PREVIOUS STORY: President Donald Trump may soon be communicating with you directly on your phone - even if you don't follow him on Twitter. The message will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades". "No action is needed".

The same system has been used regularly for the past several years to issue alerts about missing children (AMBER alerts) and extreme weather, but only in particular regions.

The WEA is a new way to reach an America increasingly attracted to fragmented forms of media found on phones, tablets and laptops.

On Thursday, the government plans to test that system. While there's no way to opt out of the alerts, powering down devices would certainly do the trick.