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 US cellphones. But it won't be a political message or attack on one of his perceived enemies-or at least, it's not supposed to be.
An alert system could allow President Donald Trump to communicate with most Americans directly through their phones.
If you can't remember this happening before-you're correct. Wireless Emergency Alerts do not require users to "opt-in", and most mobile phones in use today can receive the 90-character text-like messages.
"The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute". Everyone will then receive this message in English: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".
At about the same time on September 20, FEMA will also run a test of the Emergency Alert System on television and radio.
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You don't need to take any action for the test.
The test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert", according to the agency.
The 2015 law authorizing the WEA system allows warnings to be sent only in times of "natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety", NBC News noted. The WEA test will be broadcast over the course of about 30 minutes and sound the same as an AMBER Alert.
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.
The system is used to warn the public in cases of emergency, such as unsafe weather, and missing children.