The "presidential alert" headed to Americans' cell phones won't actually be written by President Donald Trump, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday. "No action is needed", it'll read.
The WEA test will be broadcast over the course of about 30 minutes and sound the same as an AMBER Alert.
Presidential Alerts: These alerts are (by law) only used to alert the public of national emergencies-think terrorist attacks or widespread natural disasters.
"THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System". The Communications Act of 1934 lets the president use private sector communication platforms for emergency messages.
Federal Communications Commissioner Mike O'Rielly told reporters on Tuesday that an April 5 regional test of the emergency alert system in the Washington area showed some potential issues. The message will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System". But in general, the process calls for the president - or his representative - to authorize FEMA to send an alert on the White House's behalf.
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Cell phones should only receive the message once.
The test was postponed due to "response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence".
FEMA will also run a test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) for radio and television broadcasters the same day, beginning two minutes after the WEA test. It's the fourth national EAS test. Some cell phones will receive the message.
"This is something that should not be used for a political agenda", he said.
The EAS alert is broadcast radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers. Others will not. No action is required.
"Now you know you say presidential alert and some people are thinking, 'Aw man, I see President Trump sending out Twitter messages all day long".
That 3 out of 4 phones will likely get the warning is a reflection of our always-on, technologically connected times.