FCC, FEMA to test 'Wireless Emergency Alert' system on Wednesday

FCC, FEMA to test 'Wireless Emergency Alert' system on Wednesday

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.

The emergency management agency is testing both its Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program. In a media briefing with reporters Tuesday, a senior FEMA official said Trump will not be directly triggering the october 3 alert. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide.

While the system was set up following an executive order signed in 2006 by President George W. Bush, the announcement last month that the test would be sent sparked some controversy, triggering the specter for some of President Donald Trump using the alerts the way he does Twitter. "No action is needed", officials said.

Aside from a few pertinent details about the alert (and the legalities supporting its existence), FEMA also released a mock-up image of what the message will look like on a smartphone. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The message will be active for approximately 30 minutes, so users could receive the alert within that time frame.




FEMA officials say they expect the alert to reach 75 percent of wireless-enabled devices, including cell phones and smartwatches. It's the fourth national EAS test.

The Presidential Alert would be used to allow the president to warn the public or address the nation during a national emergency.

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