Update…. Tomorrow Wednesday…
Two minutes later, at 8:20 a.m., the agencies will test the Emergency Alert System, similar to regular monthly Emergency Alert System tests. That test will be distributed via radio and television broadcasters and cable systems.
Cell phone users in America will soon receive a message from President Donald Trump, but it won’t be a political statement.
The first nationwide test of the presidential alert is set for next Oct. 3.
The Wireless Emergency Alert test will start at 8:18 a.m. Hawaii time, with messages appearing on cell phones throughout the United States. Two minutes later, there will also be a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System with messages through radio and TV broadcasts.
The message that will show up on cell phones will have the header “Presidential Alert” followed by, “THIS IS A TEST of the Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants to know if improvements are needed to the system designed to send out a warning across the country in case of a national emergency.
“For example, if there was terrorist activity in one place and they didn’t know if there was the possibility of other events in other places, they may send a national alert, but it’s purely under the control of the president,”
said Richard Rapoza, public information officer for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
Cell phone users should receive the test message as long as their phone is turned on and they’re within range of a cell tower. More than 100 wireless providers, including the largest carriers, participate in the WEA program.
“Something that just happens to Hawaii, I would not expect to see that, unless this had something to do with the country as a whole,” said Courtney Harrington, chair of the Hawaii State Emergency Communications Committee.
The WEA system is also used locally to warn people about situations such as extreme weather or missing children. Cell phone users can choose not to receive those messages, but they cannot opt out of the presidential alert.
“You’re talking (about) a very, very major event. That’s never happened in the emergency alert system, and God willing, it never will happen,” said Harrington.
The test was originally scheduled for Sept. 20, but it was delayed due to FEMA’s response efforts to Hurricane Florence. FEMA invites the public to send comments on the nationwide test to FEMA-National-Test@fema.dhs.gov.