FEMA to test emergency alert system Wednesday

FEMA to test emergency alert system Wednesday

"No action is needed".

Cell towers will broadcast the Presidential Alert for 30 minutes, but each phone "should only receive the message once", according to FEMA. It will be sent at 2:18 p.m. EDT. Under the 2006 law establishing the wireless-alert system, Congress allowed participating carriers to let subscribers block any emergency alerts - except for those issued by the sitting USA president.

It's the first nationwide test for a wireless phone emergency alert.

The test was originally scheduled for September 20 but was postponed due to Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. But that idea was dismissed by federal officials, who say the system has safeguards in place and is meant to notify Americans in hazardous situations including terrorism, war, or natural disasters. Officials say the initial test was supposed to take place last month, but was postponed due to ongoing response efforts for Hurricane Florence.

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The test is meant to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The ESA is a national public warning system that provides President Donald Trump with the communication capability to address the nation during a national emergency.

A "Presidential Alert" sent to wireless phones and across the EAS would be issued in the event of an actual national emergency, such as a declaration of war or coordinated terrorist attacks, as determined by the president or the president's designee. Some older phones, officials said, may not get the message.

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