Nationwide test of presidential emergency alert system scheduled for Wednesday

Nationwide test of presidential emergency alert system scheduled for Wednesday

Nationwide test of presidential emergency alert system scheduled for Wednesday

Millions of American wireless-phone users on Wednesday, Oct. 3, will receive an emergency test message bearing the banner "Presidential Alert", unless their phones are shut off or out of reception range or if they're in the middle of a long phone call. "No action is needed".

According to FEMA, "The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed". It will be sent at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

Despite being called a "Presidential Level Alert" emergency messages sent through the system won't be written by Donald Trump or any other president. This is the first nationwide Presidential-level test, and no, you can not opt out of it.

Cell towers will broadcast the Presidential Alert for 30 minutes, but each phone "should only receive the message once", according to FEMA.

The test was originally scheduled for September 20 but was postponed due to Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.

Everyone around the country will get an alert on their phone at the same time on Wednesday as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts a test of the national Wireless Emergency Alert system.

Aside from a few pertinent details about the alert (and the legalities supporting its existence), FEMA also released a mock-up image of what the message will look like on a smartphone. FEMA warned if a "widespread severe weather or another significant event" occurs Wednesday, the scheduled test would be postponed, again. Neither Trump nor any other US president will be able to use the WEA system for any objective other than alerting citizens about a national emergency, according to FEMA. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not.

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