Hundreds of millions of U.S. phones receive first ever ‘Presidential alert’ text

Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday

About two minutes after the wireless emergency alert, the broadcast system will send a similar message through radio and television stations. It was supposed to happen last month but response efforts to Hurricane Florence pushed it back to today.

The test has been scheduled to ensure that the alert system would work in the event of an actual national emergency.

It is the first test of the national wireless emergency system by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Some Trump critics seized on the alert's transmission to poke fun at the president.

The tests were originally set to take place September 20, but the situation with Hurricane Florence in the southeastern United States caused the tests to be delayed until Wednesday.

Only the President can authorize use of the system and determines when it is appropriate to use, FEMA would then activate the alert.




People have the ability to opt out of other types of regional alerts - such as AMBER alerts for missing children or alerts related to weather warnings - through the settings on their wireless devices.

Blasted out by cell towers nationwide over a 30-minute period, the message was expected to reach some 225 million people in an unprecedented federal exercise. The goal is to have phones get the alert at the same time. Wireless users in the US with compatible phones, connected to commercial networks run by the major wireless carriers, were supposed to get the test. Like the other emergency alerts, every major wireless carriers and most minor ones participate in the WEA program.

More than 100 wireless carriers, including all major companies, participate in the Wireless Emergency Alert, the release said, and cell phone users can not opt out of the alerts.

Your cellphone is capable of alerting you to pressing matters, whether it be a weather advisory for your area or an AMBER alert, and now it can handle "presidential alerts", too.

"Oh my. A "Presidential Alert" emergency".

The national EAS and WEA test messages were successfully originated and disseminated through FEMA's IPAWS to the wireless provider gateways and EAS message servers.

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