Nationwide emergency alert test scheduled for Wednesday


There will also be a television broadcast and radio alert at 2:20 p.m. EDT, which has been tested for several years.

Wednesday's alert will use the header "Presidential Alert" and read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

A new lawsuit filed in NY is seeking to stop the implementation of FEMA's new "Presidential Alert" messaging system, an alert used for national emergencies that can be deployed by President Trump.

The Presidential Alert was originally scheduled to be sent out September 20, but was postponed because FEMA was preoccupied with "response efforts to Hurricane Florence".

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This test is to asses the infrastructure for distributing a national message and determine whether or not improvements need to be made.

Finally, FEMA says the test will not be used to steal your private data.

All WEA alerts are given to FEMA by the president.

The content of the message will also make it clear you've received the test message. Keep in mind that some phones might not get the message, which is fine for now but might bite you in the rear end when something actually happens.

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The Wireless Emergency Alert system is used to notify Americans about risky weather from the National Weather Service, AMBER Alerts for missing children, and other urgent situations from federal, state and local authorities.

The federal government has long had a system to issue alerts over television and radio. This is the national version of Wireless Emergency Alert messages like AMBER and weather alerts from your local agencies. Instead, they're from the USA government, and both are test messages.

Since 2012 government agencies nationwide have issued over 40,000 emergency alerts to cell phones, but those were "Amber" and weather alerts targeting specific regions. Others will not. No action is required. Last week, three New Yorkers filed a lawsuit against President Trump and FEMA in attempt to block Wednesday's test of the system, saying it violates their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 11:18 a.m. FEMA officials estimate it will reach about 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including phones on all of the major carriers. It has grown more sophisticated since it was created in the 1950s, and now includes a system to send warnings to cellphones, too.

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