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Trump administration to send US cellphones a test alert on Thursday
16 September 2018, 05:21 | Kelvin Horton
Nationwide warning system test scheduled for next week, officials want Alaska feedback
Get ready to receive a text message from President Donald Trump on September 20.
The national test of the presidential alerts will use the same tone and vibration associated with other WEA alerts such as tornado warnings or AMBER Alerts.
More than 100 major cell phone carriers will participate in the test at 2.18pm Eastern Standard Time Thursday and no one with a cell phone can opt out of receiving the text. "No action is needed".
Donald Trump may be texting your cell phone next week and it won't be to send a political message or bash his adversaries. Users can't opt out of the WEA test, according to FEMA. "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".
In a real situation, the system would be used to warn the public about risky weather, missing children, or another critical situation that may require you to evacuate or remain in place.
UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades".
FEMA says any compatible cell phone tied to a participating wireless provider that is switched on and in the range of cell tower should get the alert once.
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.
"THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".
If the test is postponed for some reason, the back-up date is Wednesday, Oct. 3.
"This is a great idea and an wonderful use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harm's way", Karen North, the director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California, told NBC News.
FEMA officials told CNN on Saturday morning it is still planning to conduct the test this week.
You've probably already heard of the Emergency Alert System, which sends a national public warning via radio and television in the event of an emergency and conducts periodic tests.
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