FEMA To Test Emergency Text Messages From Trump

16 September, 2018, 17:20 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • The alert will look like a text

Your mobile phone will emit a special tone and vibrate as it receives an emergency test message on September 20.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a reception for Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2018.

Wireless Emergency Alerts can be sent by the National Weather Service, local first responder agencies, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President through a system devised by FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission. The system sends out a nationwide text to the public in the event of an emergency. "No action is needed". It is the first nationwide test to wireless phones using this system.

US cellphone users will not be able to opt out of the alert system.

FEMA will also run a test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) for radio and television broadcasters the same day, beginning two minutes after the WEA test.

The WEA system is already used to warn the public about missing children, unsafe weather and other vital information, FEMA said. The president is the only one who can determine if an alert needs to be sent out.

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If for some reason the test is postponed, it will be rescheduled for October 3, the FEMA release says.

After the alert, The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wants Alaskans to weigh in on how they thought the test went, by completing a survey that will be found on the state's website.

'If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president, then this is a great idea and an incredible use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harm's way, ' Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California, told NBC.

FEMA will begin testing its WEA system at 2:18 p.m. ET to assess its "operational readiness" and make improvements if need be, the agency said in a press release this week.

While some have expressed concerns about the system, given Trump's unhinged communications on Twitter, the system won't be used for political rhetoric, since the 2015 legislation that authorizes it explicitly states that the system can not be used for anything other than alerting the public to major threats to public safety.

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