Anyone with a wireless cell phone will receive a test emergency message Wednesday anytime between 2:18 p.m. The WEA portion of the test, which will be sent to consumer cell phones, will begin at 2:18 p.m. EDT. Despite the text saying “no action is needed”, people did react: with anger, laughter, frustration, and even memes.
It finally happened-the “presidential alert” was sent to people’s cellphones, and of course, everyone began riffing on it.
The system was created in 2008 and activated in 2012.
Think incoming nuclear missiles or a massive terrorist attack, a man-made disaster of epic proportions, a meteor or some other sort of nationally scalable natural disaster yet to be imagined.
GeekWire Summit attendees in Seattle hold up their smartphones as an message arrives from the federal government testing an emergency alert system.
Today’s alert was originally scheduled for last month but was delayed due to Hurricane Florence. The TV and radio alert has been tested for several years. It enables the President to use certain private sector communication systems for special prioritized messages.
Despite its name, the presidential alert was not issued by Trump directly. Expect the same double beep and vibration as you would receiving the other alerts.
Then who pushes the button? The test is made available to EAS participants, officials said. However, FEMA confirmed to CNN that Trump will not be sending the alert from his cellphone.
When will we get another message blast in the future?
Can I silence my phone or turn off the alert?
Legislation about emergency alerts have been rising since 9/11.
For more information, you can check out this FEMA document.
The system test is for a high-level “presidential” alert that would be used only in a nationwide emergency.
If you still believe you were near a tower and didn’t get the alert or if you want to provide feedback, FEMA wants to hear from you.
First national test of the wireless emergency alert system. Along with the occasional AMBER Alert, Elder said the WEA and its state-level counterpart the Wireless Emergency Network (WEN) also sent out messages during the July 19 tornadoes in several counties. Along with that tone, you’ll get some text which says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System”. Your phone might have alerted you that the test message arrived in a slightly different manner than normal text notifications. “No action is required”.