The Federal Emergency Management Agency is testing a new "presidential alert" system nationwide for the first time next week that will make it possible for Donald Trump to directly message almost everyone in the nation who has a cell phone. But it won't be a political message or attack on one of his perceived enemies-or at least, it's not supposed to be.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on September 20, 2018.
If you can't remember this happening before-you're correct. "No action is needed".
The message is scheduled to be sent within 30 minutes of 11:15 a.m. PDT on Thursday, Sept. 20 with a heading of "Presidential Alert". It is part of a nationwide test by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of Wireless Emergency Alerts systems to assess its effectiveness. The president is the only one who can determine if an alert needs to be sent out.
UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades".
"If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president then this is a great idea and an awesome use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harms way", said Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California. It will be in the form of a cell phone alert with a distinct tone and alert message.
The WEA test message will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".
FEMA stated that the government can not track end users' location through this alert system. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT.
Cellphone users can not opt out of receiving alerts in accordance with the 2006 Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act passed by Congress.