'Presidential Alert': FEMA to test emergency alert system next week

Clarksville Now

Clarksville Now

The alert test will be performed on the National Wireless Emergency Alert system next week on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 10:18 a.m., with a EAN (Emergency Action Notification) test at 10:20 a.m. 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.

The U.S. government is preparing to conduct the first nationwide test of a feature created to help the president reach the public during emergencies by sending warnings relayed through the country's largest wireless network providers to mobile phones within range.

If you can't remember this happening before-you're correct.

Compatible cellphones, which include those from every major carrier, will receive a message that reads "Presidential Alert" and "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades".

You don't need to take any action for the test.

Former President Barack Obama signed a law in 2016 requiring FEMA to create a system that lets US presidents send cellphone alerts regarding public safety issues like natural disasters and "terrorism".

"Users may opt of receiving alerts in the imminent threat and AMBER categories but can not opt out of receiving Presidential alerts", FEMA said. Everyone will then receive this message in English: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

Two minutes after the WEA tests, FEMA will also test nationwide warnings of the Emergency Alert System, which is similar to the older Emergency Broadcast System and sends alerts via radio and television. "This will be the first national WEA test".

The system is also used to warn the public about risky weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.

"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".

If the test is postponed for some reason, the back-up date is Wednesday, Oct. 3.

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