Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Wide Presidential Alert To Be Tested Tomorrow

Everyone will receive alert during test of national emergency alert system on Wednesday The national Wireless Emergency Alert system will be tested Wednesday Oct. 3
Wayne Curry | 03 October, 2018, 16:44

At 2:18 p.m. EDT on October 3, most Americans' cell phones will light up with a text from President Donald Trump, 72.

"CBS This Morning" got an inside look at the new system with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials ahead of the test. Verizon Communications Inc said almost all of its mobile phone handsets are capable of getting alerts. The tone is one you should be familiar with. But those emergency weather alerts and AMBER alerts can only be sent on a regional or statewide basis, not nationally and all at once.

Things are a little more sophisticated now, but basically the same minute-long, Emergency Alert System test is conducted every month or so on broadcast, cable, and satellite TV and radio. "No action is needed" and will display the header "Presidential Alert".

The WEA is an alerting network in the United States created to disseminate emergency alerts to mobile devices such as cell phones and pagers.

If you happen to be watching television or listening to the radio around that time, you'll also see this alert broadcast out over the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The WEA system is used to warn the public about risky weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones, according to FEMA.

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

If this had been an actual emergency alert, an official message would have followed the alert tone you heard at the start of this message.

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FEMA officials say they expect the alert to reach 75 percent of wireless-enabled devices, including cell phones and smartwatches.

Only wireless providers who have chosen to participate in the national WEA test will deliver the WEA message to their customers' mobile devices. Others will not. No action is required.

When will it be sent?

The test will begin at 1:18 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 3 and may last up to 30 minutes.

Why is it being sent?

All WEA alerts are given to FEMA by the president.

Since 2012, FEMA and other government agencies have used the alert system to send over 40,000 messages regarding abductions and severe weather.

What else should I know?

Here's what you need to know about these "presidential" alerts.

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