Emergency alert test going out to mobile phones nationwide


Bells and whistles will be blaring from cell phones, radio and tv stations during a National Alert Test.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts test will begin at 2:18 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 3. That test will assess the effectiveness of sending out "a national message and determine whether improvements are needed". Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once.

This will be the first national test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system, according to FEMA. "No action is needed".

A "Presidential Alert" sent to wireless phones and across the EAS would be issued in the event of an actual national emergency, such as a declaration of war or coordinated terrorist attacks, as determined by the president or the president's designee. This is the first nationwide Presidential-level test, and no, you can not opt out of it. Neither Trump nor any other US president will be able to use the WEA system for any objective other than alerting citizens about a national emergency, according to FEMA. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

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More than 100 carriers, including the largest carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile), will participate in the emergency alert test, FEMA said.

As part of the alert, cellphones that are on and within range of a cell tower will receive a message and a "loud tone and vibration" but not all phones will receive the message.

Remember when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revealed last month that they would be testing something called a "Presidential Alert" that, in effect, would allow President Donald Trump to send a short message to every single wireless user in the country?