The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). This week's alert marks the first time the system has been tested nationwide. "But people don't get their messages the way they used to".
Despite its name, the presidential alert was not issued by Trump directly.
Think incoming nuclear missiles or a massive terrorist attack, a man-made disaster of epic proportions, a meteor or some other sort of nationally scalable natural disaster yet to be imagined.
Officials said they expected the alert would not reach all phones for a variety of reasons.
The alternative is to buy a phone which isn't WEA-compatible, but most newer wireless phones are.
The test was originally scheduled for September but it pushed back to today because of Hurricane Florence.
In a real emergency, devices would get the alert at the same time or as close to the same time as possible.More news: Police questioned Brett Kavanaugh after 1985 bar altercation, according to report
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This message and will be labeled a "Presidential Alert" and, yes, will be coming at the direction of the White House.
Unlike the Amber and weather alerts, the presidential alert can't be turned off. President George W. Bush authorized presidential alerts in 2006, but one has never been sent before Wednesday.
Tough to say. Ostensibly, this is just for emergencies, and subject to FEMA's judgment on what merits an unavoidable "Presidential Alert".
Earlier on Wednesday, a federal judge in New York City rejected a request to block the test in a lawsuit filed last month by three New York residents. "This is a test to make sure the alerting system works and that we can get that message out from FEMA in Washington, D.C.to all the phone carriers and then to the cell towers then does it get to everyone's phones".
The alert will appear as long as the device is on, and may also show up on smartwatches, according to officials.
The FCC said it does not collect data based on the test, though it will ask cell service providers for feedback about how the test went.