FEMA to test a national emergency alert system

Americans brace for texts straight from Trump – with no chance to opt-out

About 225 million electronic devices across the United States will wail and buzz Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an emergency alert test.

The message Wednesday will read "Presidential Alert: This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed", it'll read. Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes. And while Americans can choose not to receive weather and AMBER alerts, they cannot opt out of presidential ones. All the major national wireless carriers and most smaller service providers participate in the WEA program.

In a legitimate emergency, an alert would be issued at the president's direction or by someone he chooses, and then activated by FEMA, the agency said.

The system is reserved for extreme situations such as a terrorist attack, missile launch or tsunami.

Cellphone users will receive a wireless presidential alert on October 3. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide.

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"We only have to send the message one place", Warstler said. Of course, you're cutting off all communication for your phone so you won't get any calls or other messages.

The test was originally scheduled for September 20 but was postponed due to Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.

"This is a notification regarding the Nationwide Emergency Alert System and Wireless Alert System Test", the district wrote in a message to parents.

Wednesday's test is scheduled to begin at 2:18 p.m. ET.

This marks the fourth time FEMA has conducted a national EAS test and is the first time for a national WEA test. It's something "that should not be used for a political agenda", he said.

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You can block the test message by putting your smart phone in Airplane Mode, or by turning your phone off.

The countrywide test, a joint effort of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission, will use the same tone and vibration as tornado warning and AMBER Alert warnings.

When will I get the alert?

A separate alert on TV and radios will be issued at 2:20 PM (2320 hours, Pakistan time). Others will not. No action is required.

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