Coming Wednesday to most American cellphones: a presidential text alert.
The federal government has long had a system to issue alerts over television and radio. Systems are activated differently and with separate, specific sets of criteria, Warstler said. All the major national wireless carriers and most smaller service providers participate in the WEA program.
A test of the new alert system is scheduled for this Wednesday after being postponed due to Hurricane Florence.
But it's not exactly from President Trump.
All WEA alerts are given to FEMA by the president. Emergency messages are pre-written and approved by various government agencies in advance of any test or emergency.
FEMA reports that this alert is different from a text message, meaning you can not respond and that "your phone number is not shared with anyone".
If you're picturing a red button inside a glass box or a fire-alarm-style handle on the wall - this isn't that. It's something "that should not be used for a political agenda", he said.
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This is a test of the nationwide alert system to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children and other critical situations, and you may notice that your phone makes a different notification sound to normal. It was originally named the Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN), was later renamed the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), and is now finally the WEA.
Can I Block These Alerts?
Unlike the Amber and weather alerts, the presidential alert can't be turned off.
The WEA is designed for our growing cellphone population. Under the 2006 law establishing the wireless-alert system, Congress allowed participating carriers to let subscribers block any emergency alerts - except for those issued by the sitting USA president. Some older phones, officials said, may not get the message.
What about the other screens in my life?
The Presidential Alert would be used to allow the president to warn the public or address the nation during a national emergency.
To help ensure that WEA alerts are accessible to the entire public, including people with disabilities, WEA alerts are accompanied by a unique tone and vibration.
Officials estimate that upwards of 225 million Americans will receive the test alert on WEA-compatible wireless devices. "No action is required".