Donald Trump may be texting your cell phone next week and it won’t be to send a political message or bash his adversaries.
On Thursday September 20, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will test a new ‘presidential alert’ system which will have Trump text nearly every person in the US with a cell phone.
More than 100 major cell phone carriers will participate in the test at 2.18pm Eastern Standard Time Thursday and no one with a cell phone can opt out of receiving the text.
Everyone who’s service provider participates will receive a message to their phone with the head ‘Presidential Alert,’ FEMA said in a statement Thursday.
FEMA is testing out a presidential alert system Thursday September 20 that will have Trump text nearly every cell phone in the US
When the alert comes, a tone and vibration will sound off twice – the same sound that is used for AMBER alerts and weather warnings.
Everyone will then receive a message in English that reads: ‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.’
FEMA said in a statement: ‘The EAS [Emergency Alert System] is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency.’
The system is also used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.
FEMA said those whose cell phones are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA [Wireless Emergency Alerts] should receive the message only once.
The message will read: ‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed’
Unlike the president’s tweets, officials have assured that system will not be sued for political messages.
‘If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president, then this is a great idea and an amazing use of technology to reach everybody if they’re in harm’s way,’ Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California, told NBC.
This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test, according to FEMA.
Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.