What to know about Trump’s nationwide test alert

You’re going to get a Presidential Alert Wednesday, but it’s not from the president | The State

A test message will be sent to wireless devices throughout the country and territories.

Then, about two minutes later, another text message from the Emergency Alert System will go out to all broadcast, cable, satellite and wireless providers. The test is meant to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster, including requirements to help ensure that televised EAS messages are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

GettyTrump with Mike Pence and Melania Trump visiting FEMA headquarters.

If you were looking at another piece of glowing glass - like your television - during the test, you may have seen the alert there, too. "The alert was a test of the broadcast system to be used in the event of a national emergency".

FEMA is committed to continuously improving the national alert and warning systems and supporting local authorities in getting effective and timely warning to people.

But some people said they didn't know the test was going to happen. Some people may get the alert a bit later depending on cell phone tower issues. Instead, they're from the USA government, and both are test messages.

According to FEMA, the WEA is used to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.

The WEA message will read: "Presidential Alert. No action is needed", the full text will read.

The test is allowing FEMA to assess "the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message to determine whether improvements are needed".

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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. The main difference is that this is nationwide rather than regional.

That three out of four phones probably received the warning is a reflection of our always-on, technologically connected times. This test will look and feel similar to the monthly EAS tests sent out on TV and radio, and it will interrupt whatever you're watching for about a minute.

A tone will sound, mirroring previous alerts you may have received, like Amber Alerts or flood watch warnings.

FEMA stated that some phones may not get the message.

The test seemed to go off without a hitch and reactions ranged from anger about receiving an unwanted message from Trump to confusion and concern when phones did not receive an alert. "No action is required".

It's a robust system that helps ensure public safety alerts can reach a large percentage of the population.

The wireless alert system launched in 2012.

A group of New Yorkers is suing to be able to opt out of the alert, claiming it infringes on their First Amendment rights. "The White House actually has to notify FEMA to send it out and they won't do it for anything except disasters", she said. The idea is that these "Presidential" alerts will only be used in such extreme circumstances, like a coordinated terror or missile attack, that sending the message outweighs your desire not to receive an alert. "This is something that should not be used for a political agenda", he said.

People are so against the unwanted presidential alert that a lawsuit was filed September 26 to try to prevent it.

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