Donald Trump's presidential alert reaches millions of Americans' phones in disaster test

Noel Cummings
October 5, 2018

Any cellphone that is on, in range of a cell tower, and whose provider participates in the system should be capable of receiving these alerts. With other messages like AMBER alerts and flood warnings that automatically pop up on people's phones, many carriers let you go into your phone's settings to shut them off. This is the first national WEA test.

"The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency", according to a statement from FEMA.

The message being sent today is just a test and not an actual alert.

President Barack Obama signed the 2015 "Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act" into law in 2016.

And while you can block that cloying ex or irritating in-law from texting you, there's no opting out of Beltway bellwethers from the Oval Office.

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Has WEA and EAS Been Tested Before? Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not.

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.

A number of iPhone users on AT&T's network - including this reporter - did not receive the notification until they had rebooted their smartphones.

This will be the first national test of the WEA system which is meant to be used by the president to warn civilians of natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other disasters or threats to public safety.

Some are describing the test as a "Trump Alert" - but the USA president is not personally involved in the trial.

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The beep of the test alert echoed through Times Square, causing some pedestrians to look up in confusion before turning back to their phones and continuing with their day.

The message will be sent through FEMA's Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, which was launched in 2012.

It uses a system called WEA that stands for Wireless Emergency Alert. It featured a loud alarm, followed by vibration that lasted around one minute, and required no action. But there's a select class of alerts referred to as "government alerts" which they can't opt out of. U.S. cellphone users are not able opt out of presidential alerts. But President Trump doesn't control it as some people thought.

As it says, this is only a test!

It is unknown if Trump will attempt to misuse this power as a political tool to make announcements.

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