Officials to send emergency alert test to U.S. phones, request feedback after

Posted October 05, 2018

The tone went off at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

From asking the quintessential "u up?" to declaring that his hair is perfectly fine, the meme imagines Trump using the alert system to text his citizens. The former will bear the imprimatur of the White House, according to the FEMA primer. Wednesday saw the test of a new presidential alert system which will be used to inform Americans about national emergencies. "No action is needed".

If you're in range, though, you're getting the alert whether you like it or not.

Comic Kathy Griffin, a longtime Trump critic, used her Twitter account to show a phony Presidential Alert reading: "FAILED COMIC KATHY GRIFFIN IS TRYING TO DESTROY A GREAT MAN, BRETT KAVANAUGH!" To borrow a well-worn phrase from a phone commercial, there's a precedent for that.

The test will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Others just stuck to what they knew: the most haunting retro photos of the President before he entered politics. They are also typically sent to targeted geographic regions. Congress authorized the public safety alert system in 2008.

The message sent to cell phones will be similar to AMBER alerts and inclement weather warnings that are now currently being used.

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The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system proper was created in 2012, but it's actually been around longer than that. So, does that mean President Trump just sent an emergency text alert to every phone in the US?

You might have noticed that when you received the alert, it was sent directly over the cellular network.

But given the alert goes out to a huge portion of Americans - today's test will be sent to 225 million electronic devices, reaching about 75% of the devices in the country according to Bloomberg- we can assume only a dire national incident would prompt such a high-level alert.

Others worry that President Donald Trump, a very active user of Twitter, would abuse the system and force the public to receive messages from him. "No action is required". It is the first test of the emergency system.

Most of the people FOX4 spoke with at the State Fair of Texas during the test said they got the text.

And Craig Silliman, Verizon's executive vice president of public policy and general counsel, weighed in on the testing in a statement Wednesday.

"In the event of a national emergency, a Presidential WEA alert would be issued at the direction of the President and/or his/her designee, and activated by FEMA", the agency says. Think of them as the DEFCON 1 of phone alerts.

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