Saturday September 15, 2018

FEMA to Send Its First "Presidential Alert" in Emergency Messaging System Test

The president is expected to send a message to every phone in the US on Thursday as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new "presidential alert" system, which will allow the commander in chief to reach anyone with cell service in the event of a national emergency. "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed," the message will read, due to be sent out on Thursday at 2:18pm ET.

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Allowing the president to send nationwide alerts was included in the passing of the WARN Act in 2006 under the Bush administration, creating a state-of-the-art emergency alert system that would replace an aging infrastructure. As alarming as these alerts can (and are designed to) be, the system aims to modernize the alerts system for a population increasingly moving away from televisions and towards mobile technology.