The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday it will test a new emergency notification system next week that allows President Donald Trump to send emergency messages directly to US cellphones.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system is already in use in the U.S. -smartphone users are likely familiar with the loud, droning tone of flood warnings or Amber alerts.
UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades".
The administration will also send a test alert via radio and television broadcasters two minutes after the cell phone alert, part of a system long in use for alerts on severe weather and other emergencies.
WEA was technically launched in April of 2012, but this will be the first time FEMA has tested the system on the presidential level in hopes to work out the kinks, the agency said in a press release this week.
Since the wireless emergency alert system began in 2012, it has issued over 36,000 alerts for situations such as missing children, extreme weather and natural disasters, but never a presidential directive.
The message should read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed".More news: Why Paul Pogba’s World Cup Win is A Problem For United
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.
He plans to message every cell phone in America to test a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) system that will allow any USA president to communicate directly via a text message with the public during a national emergency.
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.
The WEA test will be broadcast over the course of about 30 minutes and sound the same as an AMBER Alert.
Users will have the option to opt out of receiving alerts for imminent threats and AMBER alert categories but will not be able to opt out of Presidential alerts.
If the test is postponed for some reason, the back-up date is Wednesday, Oct. 3.