SALT LAKE CITY — Everyone in America with a cellphone will receive the same text message tomorrow.
Oh, and it’s a test designed to help President Donald Trump and other future presidents send out nationwide text messages.
FEMA will conduct a nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert test on Oct. 3 at 12:18 p.m. MT that will be followed by a nationwide emergency alert test on broadcast TV and radio.
“The test will assess the readiness to distribute an emergency message nationwide and determine whether improvements are needed,” according to FEMA.
- The test will read “Presidential Alert” and will include the following text: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
- Your phones and phones around you will make a strange and uncommon sound and will display the alert message on your home screen, according to FEMA.
- No actions are required for the test, which will be similar to the Emergency Alert System messages people commonly hear on the radio or see on television.
- The test will last about one minute.
- About 100 mobile carriers will partake in the test.
The EAS announcement Oct. 3 will reference the text message. Here’s what the EAS message will say:
- “THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cellphones nationwide. Some cellphones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”
According to The Huffington Post, the FEMA alert will be a way to test a new “presidential alert” system for the first time, which makes it possible for Trump to slide into everyone’s DMs.19 comments on this story
NBC News reported that a 2015 law authorized the WEA system to only send messages during a “natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.” So this probably won’t mean Trump’s tweets will end up in your inbox.
- “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 News.