FEMA is About to Get Up in Your Phone!

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House
Author

04 October, 2018

A second alert on television broadcast and radio went off at 2:20 p.m. EDT. There's no reason for alarm but knowing about it beforehand will likely save you a few minutes researching the unexpected notification on your phone.

The message you likely received (unless you turned your phone off) was the first ever nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.

Moments after the alert went off at 2:18 p.m. many reported they didn't get the alert and some were curious why? The Warning, Alert and Response Network Act of 2006, said that cell phone users can't turn off presidential alerts.

A wireless provider must be participating in the WEA in order to receive the test message.

With natural disasters, child abductions and other emergencies a reality across the state and country, federal agencies will test two alert systems nationwide Wednesday afternoon.

This test was originally scheduled for last month, but had to be postponed while the agency responded to Hurricane Florence. However, FEMA confirmed to CNN that Trump will not be sending the alert from his cellphone.

Don't worry: The government didn't just spam you. And although you can opt out of AMBER alerts and weather alerts, you can't opt out of Presidential alerts.

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FEMA's Antwane Johnson told CBS News:"When those messages appear on mobile devices, people should take those extremely seriously".

Our President now has another way to reach you.

FEMA officials said they would share test result data on how the testing went with mobile carriers to help ensure the system works well in a true emergency. The message will pop up as an alert saying "This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

It finally happened-the "presidential alert" was sent to people's cellphones, and of course, everyone began riffing on it.

GeekWire's Kurt Schlosser, right, and John Cook talk GeekWire Summit attendees through the arrival of a national test alert on their phones Wednesday.

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.

Phones that are on and in service range should receive WEA messages.


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