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Emergency alert test going out to mobile phones nationwide

03 October, 2018, 16:00 | Author: Arnold Gilbert
  • Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday

An emergency message from the federal government will be sent to cell phone users October 3 at approximately 2:18 p.m. ET.

Americans nationwide will receive an alert on their cellphones from President Donald Trump for the first time ever Wednesday. "No action is needed", the message will read, according to FEMA, which says the alert will have a loud tone and a "special vibration".

The test will be broadcast over the course of about 30 minutes and sound the same as an AMBER Alert. However, consumers cannot unsubscribe to the presidential alerts.

As part of wireless emergency alerts, users will receive Presidential Alerts, AMBER Alerts, and alerts in cases of extreme weather or "other threatening emergencies".

This would be the first time FEMA will test the cell phone alerts nationwide.

Jeh Johnson said that's especially important because no one can opt out of these alerts. "Do you have a cell phone?"

Originally scheduled for September 20, the test was postponed until Wednesday because of the federal government's disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Florence.

The Emergency Alert System is a national warning system that allows the president to communicate messages to the public during national emergencies.

How Wednesday's nationwide emergency alert test message might look on an iPhone. Radio and television will immediately follow with a test, as well. It's something "that should not be used for a political agenda", he said.

On a conference call, government officials told reporters that Trump would not personally trigger the alert - from his phone or any other device - and emphasized that no president could "wake up one morning and attempt to send a personal message".

The WEA alert will reach any cellphone that is connected to a wireless provider participating in the test, switched on and within active range of a cell tower. There will also be a television broadcast and radio alert at 2:20 p.m. EDT, which has been tested for several years. "No action is required".

Sorry, but you can't opt out of receiving this alert (nor can you silence it on your phone unless you set the device in "Do Not Disturb" mode, which varies by phone model).

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