Cellphone users nationwide just received a 'Presidential Alert.' Here's what to know

Cellphone users nationwide just received a 'Presidential Alert.' Here's what to know

Cellphone users nationwide just received a 'Presidential Alert.' Here's what to know

Among the details people who did not get the alert should send: What device they use, their wireless provider, whether they were using their phone when the alert went out, and whether others nearby received the alert.

For the first time ever, Americans nationwide will receive an alert on their cell phones from President Trump. TV and radio alerts have been tested before. This will be the fourth EAS test and first WEA test.

"In order to make sure our national alert system works the way it should, we need to test it", Schatz said. The alert won't have any substantial content - it's just a system test - but this sets a whole new precedent for how Americans are informed.

In accordance with the WARN act, you are allowed to block imminent safety and AMBER alerts, but not Presidential alerts.

The test today is a joint WEA and EAS test. They said a person on a call lasting 30 minutes may not get the alert as with phones with an active data connection. The other option is to keep your phone from connecting to a cell tower.

That message will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System".

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"The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system is used to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones".

"Users may opt out of receiving alerts in the imminent threat and AMBER categories but can not opt out of receiving Presidential alerts", the agency said.

It guided the ways in which local, state and federal officials could use these alerts.

FEMA officials said the administration can only send such an alert for national emergencies or if the public were in peril, rules outlined in a 2006 law, and they say it can't be used for any sort of personal message from the president. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

"Presidential Alerts are to be used during a national emergency, though none have been sent to date", the agency said on its website.

People have the ability to opt out of other types of regional alerts - such as AMBER alerts for missing children or alerts related to weather warnings - through the settings on their wireless devices. It featured a loud alarm, followed by vibration that lasted around one minute, and required no action. "This is something that should not be used for a political agenda", he said. But President Trump doesn't control it as some people thought. FEMA is now testing the various alert systems as part of that integration effort.

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