Trump to buzz American phones with presidential alert test on Wednesday

Helen Aguilar
October 5, 2018

If you have a cellphone, it probably buzzed and beeped loudly Wednesday around 2:18 p.m. EDT.

Keep your eyes peeled for a POTUS alert Wednesday-not on Twitter or TV, but in a text delivered straight to your phone, as long as your provider's on board and you're in range of an active cell tower.

On Wednesday, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System sent a test message to nearly every cellphone user in the US.

FEMA invites the public to send comments on the nationwide EAS-WEA test to FEMA-National-Test@fema.dhs.gov.

The content of the message made it clear that the message is only a drill. That sprouted from a 2006 Congressional act passed to fund a national alert system that President George W. Bush called for after the federal government's bungled Hurricane Katrina response in 2005, according to CNET.

How do I block these?

FEMA invites the public to send comments on the nationwide EAS-WEA test to FEMA-National-Test@fema.dhs.gov.

Presidential Alert
Daily Dot

But some people with phones that met these criteria did not receive the text message.

EAS tests have been conducted previously in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA's National Preparedness Month, FEMA said. Wireless users in the US with compatible phones, connected to commercial networks run by the major wireless carriers, were supposed to get the test.

Millions of USA cell phones buzzed and beeped on Wednesday during the first test of a presidential alert system that would warn the public of a national emergency, such as an imminent attack. The alert can not be a personal message on behalf of the president.

Despite some worry, the system was not created in order to allow the President to send messages on a whim but we'll get to that shortly.

Although the test had been reported in advance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), few were prepared for the emergency tone on their phones, commonly associated with the "amber alert" system for missing children.

Unlike other alerts - such as natural disaster warnings - there is no way to opt out, except switching a device off or blocking its cellular connection. It featured a loud alarm, followed by vibration that lasted around one minute, and required no action. The WEA system was established a decade ago and became operational in 2012.

Didn't get the president alert from FEMA on Wednesday? They failed, at least when it came to the test. J.B. "This is something that should not be used for a political agenda", he said. FEMA is now testing the various alert systems as part of that integration effort. In reality, President Trump had nothing to do with the text messages.

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