Nationwide emergency alert test scheduled for Wednesday

Nationwide emergency alert test scheduled for Wednesday

Millions of American wireless-phone users on Wednesday, Oct. 3, will receive an emergency test message bearing the banner "Presidential Alert", unless their phones are shut off or out of reception range or if they're in the middle of a long phone call.

The first test of President Donald Trump's Emergency Text Alert System will take place Wednesday. "No action is needed", officials said.

The WEA, launched in 2012, can be traced back to the 2006 Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act passed by Congress to fund a new emergency alert system called for by President George W. Bush.

Despite the name, "the president will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device", the official said.

The WEA is in addition to the Emergency Alert System, or EAS, which has been utilized for decades via broacast outlets. After filling in the message form, two other FEMA officials are asked to sign off on the alert - a system created to prevent false alarms, like the incorrect alert of an incoming missile that roused and terrified people in Hawaii earlier this year.

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The WEA is an alerting network in the United States created to disseminate emergency alerts to mobile devices such as cell phones and pagers.

The test had been planned for September, but Hurricane Florence preparedness and response efforts prompted FEMA and the FCC to postpone it until October 3. Some cell phones will receive the message. The law requires a nationwide EAS test at least once every three years.

A second alert on television broadcasts and radio will go off at 2:20 p.m. EDT. Wireless phones should receive the message only once. The official said the uses are limited, such as to a "coordinated attack on our major cities across the country" or "some other type of public peril that is ongoing in the country at the time".

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it'll sound like an Amber Alert or flood warning. The alert will also test the reliability of the new "Presidential Alert". It will be accompanied by a national alert tone. Others will not. No action is required.

Sorry, but you can't opt out of receiving this alert (nor can you silence it on your phone unless you set the device in "Do Not Disturb" mode, which varies by phone model).

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