Expect a message from FEMA today, but remember it’s only a test

Expect a message from FEMA today, but remember it’s only a test

The system also sends out AMBER alerts and warnings about extreme weather or other local emergencies.

"Can't wait for the first ever presidential alert saying that SNL sucks", Gervais wrote. In the future, should it be used, it could be a warning of a natural disaster, for example.

FEMA officials estimate almost 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including major carriers, will receive the alert.

"The President will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device", a senior FEMA official told reporters on Tuesday.

This alert was originally scheduled for September 20, but rescheduled for Wednesday after Hurricane Florence. The text message will be sent to phones within a half hour period, beginning at 2.18pm EDT, with the TV and radio messages broadcast two minutes later, at 2.20pm [7.20pm BST].

The message will go out to all working phones compatible with the WEA System.

It finally happened-the "presidential alert" was sent to people's cellphones, and of course, everyone began riffing on it. The goal is to have phones get the alert at the same time. Expect the same double beep and vibration as you would receiving the other alerts.

The hashtag #PresidentialAlert became the top US trending topic on Twitter, where most users complained about the alert system or used the opportunity to crack jokes.

Marshall County Emergency Management coordinator Kim Elder said the emergency alerts are necessary.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), the lead Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, released a statement related to the test on Wednesday.

The alert is expected to appear and sound similar to AMBER and severe weather alerts, but unlike those Alerts there is no opting out.

Because the message is meant to include "critical lifesaving information", it's created to reach as many cellphones as possible, even those that aren't activated or don't have SIM cards. "This is a test to make sure the alerting system works and that we can get that message out from FEMA in Washington, D.C.to all the phone carriers and then to the cell towers then does it get to everyone's phones".

If you're looking at another piece of glowing glass - like your television - during the test, you may just see the alert there, too. "No action is required".

But given the alert goes out to a huge portion of Americans - today's test will be sent to 225 million electronic devices, reaching about 75% of the devices in the country according to Bloomberg- we can assume only a dire national incident would prompt such a high-level alert. It hasn't said yet whether the test went well.

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