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

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On September 20, FEMA will test its WEA system by sending out a text with the header "Presidential Alert" and the message, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

"The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency", the statement continued.

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.

Despite Trump's frequent use of Twitter as a method of communicating, experts told NBC News on Friday that Trump would not overuse the "Presidential Alert" system. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message.

All major wireless firms and more than 100 mobile carriers are participating in the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program that allows for presidential alerts, FEMA wrote in a Thursday statement. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not.

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. "No action is needed".

The wireless emergency alerts (WEA) system was authorized by Congress in 2015 under a law that states the "system shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety". The president is the only one who can determine if an alert needs to be sent out.

The test is meant to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster. During this time, cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower should be capable of receiving the test message.

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