FEMA Says Test of Presidential Alert System Postponed
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
September 17, 2018
President Donald Trump won't be texting you this week after all.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday that they were postponing the test of a Presidential Alert System that would allow President Trump to send text messages directly to most U.S. cell phone users.
The agency said they were delaying the test to Oct. 3rd in part due to the ongoing response to Hurricane Florence in the Southeastern U.S.
The message will be sent to carriers across the country who are participating in the test, which covers most of the cell phones in the U.S. According to FEMA the message will be identified as a Presidential Alert, and read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
Mobile users cannot opt-out of the test.
The Wireless Emergency Alert system was developed under a 2016 law signed by President Barack Obama that is meant to inform citizens in case of disasters or terrorist attacks.
“The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations,” the agency said.
Testing is still due to occur at 2:18 p.m. EST and last for approximately a half-hour the agency said.
A planned test of a system that sends alerts via radio and television broadcasters will also be delayed to Oct. 3rd, the agency said.
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