Trump administration to send US cellphones a test alert on Thursday

Clarksville Now

Clarksville Now

The Trump administration will send a test message to all USA cellphones on Thursday for a new alert system that aims to warn the public about national emergencies. 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 Wireless Emergency Alert system message test is being carried out by FEMA in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, FEMA said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.

If you can't remember this happening before-you're correct.

All major wireless firms and more than 100 mobile carriers are participating in the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program that allows for presidential alerts, FEMA wrote in a Thursday statement.

You can expect to see the alert pop up on your phone at 2:18 p.m. ET so long as you have your phone turned on, are within range of a cell tower, and if your wireless provider is part of the WEA system. "No action is needed", the message will say. Everyone will then receive this message in English: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

This will be the first time WEA has ever been tested and will be followed by a test of the national Emergency Alert System which has only been tested three times before.

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In a real situation, the system would be used to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children, or another critical situation that may require you to evacuate or remain in place.

This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test, according to FEMA.

"Users may opt of receiving alerts in the imminent threat and AMBER categories but can not opt out of receiving Presidential alerts", FEMA said.

Mobile alerts sent through the WEA system are now categorized as imminent threats about emergencies in an area, including extreme weather, AMBER alerts for missing children or "Presidential alerts about emergencies of national outcome", FEMA said.

"The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute".

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