Trump to send ‘Presidential Alert’ on all US cellphones on Thursday

The alert will look like a text

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on September 20, 2018 (primary date) or October 3, 2018 (secondary date).

The system message distributed during the test will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

More than 100 carriers, including the largest carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile), will participate in the emergency alert test, FEMA said. "No action is needed".

The presidential alert is one of three kinds of alerts in the FEMA's WEA system, which also notifies the public about extreme weather or missing children, also known as AMBER alerts.

We don't actually know if the president will send the text himself, but it will have a headline that says "Presidential Alert".

The test will last for about 30 minutes, beginning at 2:18pm ET on Thursday.

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Federal officials previously announced that the government has a system for sending messages to all cellphone users in the event of a serious weather situation or other emergency.

"THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System".

FEMA will test the Wireless Emergency Alerts system to "assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed", the agency said in a statement.

"If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president then this is a great idea and an incredible use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harms way", said Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California.

There will be an initial test of the presidential alert system on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

FEMA officials told CNN on Saturday morning it is still planning to conduct the test this week. The well-worn emergency alert system reaches mainly radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers. Everyone will then receive this message in English: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

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