Wireless phone users can't block Trump administration 'Presidential Alert' test message

03 October, 2018, 15:58 | Author: Bennie Parsons
  • Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday

According to the FCC and FEMA, the alert message-which is not technically an SMS text message but akin to AMBER Alert messages-will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

The message Wednesday will read "Presidential Alert: This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

The Wireless Emergency Alert system is used to notify Americans about risky weather from the National Weather Service, AMBER Alerts for missing children, and other urgent situations from federal, state and local authorities. The alert can not be a personal message on behalf of the president.

This is a test of the nationwide alert system to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children and other critical situations, and you may notice that your phone makes a different notification sound to normal. But Wednesday is the first time for a national, presidential alert issued by FEMA.

"We only have to send the message one place", Warstler said.

As it's blasted out by cell towers nationwide over a 30-minute period, the message is expected to reach some 225 million people in an unprecedented federal exercise.

The test was originally scheduled to take place September 20, but it was postponed amid continuing effects from Hurricane Florence.


"THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. Since this is the first test, we want to make sure no one is caught off guard". The official said the uses are limited, such as to a "coordinated attack on our major cities across the country" or "some other type of public peril that is ongoing in the country at the time".

If you're looking at another piece of glowing glass - like your television - during the test, you may just see the alert there, too.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it'll sound like an Amber Alert or flood warning.

The test message, as with other WEA alerts like severe-weather warnings, will include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.

After a high-profile delay last month caused by Hurricane Florence, a new national alert system will be tested Wednesday afternoon. Wireless phones should receive the message only once. "No action is required".

So older phones with updated software may still get the alerts.

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