Presidential test alert sets American phones buzzing

FEMA and the FCC will send Americans a pair of emergency alerts today

FEMA and the FCC will send Americans a pair of emergency alerts today

The test went out at 2:18 p.m. EDT to all cellphones connected to wireless providers participating in the WEA. A secondary test will go out at 2:20pm ET from the Emergency Alert System to radio and television. After filling in the message form, two other FEMA officials are asked to sign off on the alert - a system created to prevent false alarms, like the incorrect alert of an incoming missile that roused and terrified people in Hawaii earlier this year.

The brief message will also say that it is only a TEST and that no action is needed.

The test was originally planned for September 20, but was postponed until Wednesday due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.

The test today is a joint WEA and EAS test.

The suit states the complainants are people "who do not wish to receive text messages of any kind on any topic or subject from President Trump". But the concern over an emergency alert earlier this year in Hawaii is being used as an example of what can happen.

As a matter of fact, the words "Presidential Alert" were a bit misleading.

FEMA officials estimate almost 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including major carriers, will receive the alert.

"Of course, this was a 'Presidential Alert, ' which is supposed to be the highest, most urgent".

FEMA has said that the alert isn't an actual text or SMS (so you won't be charged for this.) Instead, it's an audio and text warning that works similarly to the AMBER alerts and weather emergency notices that you might receive. First, an alert tone, followed by a message sent to cellular devices all across the country.

It said cell phones should get the message only once.

Though you have probably received emergency alerts in the past, those were local or regional messages regarding weather events such as flash-flood or tornado warnings, or alerts about missing people. The WEA test can, however, be ducked by powering your phone down.

No one can opt out of these alerts - and only the president has the ability to decide if or when those alerts are sent. "No action is required".

The plaintiffs' main complaint is that Presidential Alerts are compulsory - there's no way to opt-out of receiving them.

It didn't take long for the internet to buzz with reaction to the country's first nationwide tweet from President Trump.

All freaking out aside, the wireless alert system actually launched in 2012 when Barack Obama was president, so it's been around for a while.

It is unknown if Trump will attempt to misuse this power as a political tool to make announcements.

"So some people got the presidential alert and some people didn't?"

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