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Don't be alarmed by 'Presidential Alert' sent to your phone

03 October, 2018, 16:40 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House

Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be sending a test message alert to most cell phones across the country. In fact, radio and TV will start broadcasting similar messages as part of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) at precisely 2:20 p.m. Some wireless alerts could be delayed by as much as 30 minutes. WEA may also be referred to as "government alerts" or "emergency alerts".

Can I silence my phone or turn off the alert?

It will also be the first year a WEA has ever been combined with an EAS, which is the national public warning system!

You can expect it to sound like an Amber Alert or flood warning, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The national test on Wednesday will use the same tone and vibration as weather alerts and Amber Alerts. You'll know you've gotten the message if the header reads "Presidential Alert". Emergency messages are pre-written and approved by various government agencies in advance of any test or emergency.

The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is created to warn Americans in the event of a national emergency.

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A second alert on television broadcasts and radio will go off at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

The MEMA website says that the system provides the president with the ability to communicate with the nation in times of a national emergency. Verizon Communications Inc said almost all of its mobile phone handsets are capable of getting alerts.

No can do. You'll likely receive the message automatically, unless your phone is turned off, you're not close enough to a cell tower or your wireless provider doesn't participate in WEA. "No action is needed", it'll read. Cell phones should only receive the message once.

"The nationwide test ensures that in times of an emergency or disaster, public safety officials have methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public", said OEM.

Starting Thursday, FEMA will roll out 'Presidential Alerts'. The alert would be used in the event of a major nationwide emergency. This means that any compatible cellphones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower should receive the alert. Others will not. No action is required.

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