National Wireless Emergency Alert System Set to Test Sept. 20

Trump Can Message You Directly On FEMA Alert System To Be Tested Next Week

A majority of cell phone users will receive an alert on Thursday, September 20, with the header "Presidential Alert" and the message, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

The system message distributed during the test will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

Compatible cell phones that are powered on, within range of an active cellular tower and connected to any of more than 100 wireless providers will receive a "Presidential Alert" during Thursday's test, FEMA said. "No action is needed".

The tweet includes a link to FEMA's website that contains answers to numerous questions Americans may have about the system and the test.

"Users may opt of receiving alerts in the imminent threat and AMBER categories but can not opt out of receiving Presidential alerts", FEMA said.

The Trump administration will send a test message to all United States cellphones on Thursday to test a new alert system.

The WEA test will be broadcast over the course of about 30 minutes and sound the same as an AMBER Alert.

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The WEA system is already used to warn the public about missing children, risky weather and other vital information, FEMA said. If for some reason there's interference with Thursday's test, a backup is scheduled for October 3.

'If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president, then this is a great idea and an wonderful use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harm's way, ' Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California, told NBC.

The new system was ordered by former President Barack Obama to alert citizens about extreme weather events and terrorism.

If there is some reason why the test can not be conducted on September 20th, FEMA will try again on October 3rd at 2:18pm EDT.

Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA's National Preparedness Month.

The agency is required by law to conduct a nationwide test of its public alert systems no less than once every three years.

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