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Presidential emergency alert system text coming next week

15 September 2018

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is testing a new system next week that allows President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: "NO WAY" Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites "attorney-client privilege" Wealthiest Republican supporter in OH quits party MORE to send messages directly to USA cellphones.

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 can't remember this happening before-you're correct.

More than 100 major cell phone carriers will participate in the test at 2.18pm Eastern Standard Time Thursday and no one with a cell phone can opt out of receiving the text.

The Warning, Alert and Response Network Act of 2006 does not allow the option.

When the alert comes, a tone and vibration will sound off twice - the same sound that is used for AMBER alerts and weather warnings.

You don't need to take any action for the test.

The WEA system is already used to warn the public about missing children, risky weather and other vital information, FEMA said.

FEMA stated that the government can not track end users' location through this alert system.

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

The system is the latest generation of warnings at a time when more people are typically linked at any one time to their cell phones than radios or TVs. The systems allows the president the "communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency".

UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling told NBC News he believes an alert system like this will be professional and impartial.

The message is scheduled to be sent within 30 minutes of 11:15 a.m. PDT on Thursday, Sept. 20 with a heading of "Presidential Alert".

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.

Presidential emergency alert system text coming next week