Monday, 15 October, 2018

Wireless phone users can't block Trump administration 'Presidential Alert' test message

Emergency alert test going out to mobile phones nationwide Wireless phone users can't block Trump administration 'Presidential Alert' test message
Troy Mann | 02 October, 2018, 20:08

"No action is needed".

The presidential alert is one of three kinds of alerts in the FEMA's WEA system, which also notifies the public about extreme weather or missing children, also known as AMBER alerts.

The new presidential alert will be used for advance warning of national crises, and not for regional or local alerts.

FEMA will test an emergency phone messaging system at 1:18 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Tomorrow afternoon, the FCC and FEMA will be conducting the nation's first test of its wireless emergency alert system. Users can not opt out of receiving this WEA test. Under the 2006 law establishing the wireless-alert system, Congress allowed participating carriers to let subscribers block any emergency alerts - except for those issued by the sitting USA president.

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While FEMA is responsible for sending the alerts, it reported that President Donald Trump "has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated".

As part of the alert, cellphones that are on and within range of a cell tower will receive a message and a "loud tone and vibration" but not all phones will receive the message. It's the fourth national EAS test.

The Wireless Emergency Alert system is used to notify Americans about risky weather from the National Weather Service, AMBER Alerts for missing children, and other urgent situations from federal, state and local authorities.

Johnson said the system will be used to notify USA citizens of certain events of "national significance". Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system been used more than 40,000 times.

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