Alerts will also be broadcast on radio and television as well. It is the first test of the emergency system. There's no reason for alarm but knowing about it beforehand will likely save you a few minutes researching the unexpected notification on your phone.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that it will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert between 11:18 a.m. and 11:48 a.m. Wednesday, according to a release.
- At 1:18 p.m. Wednesday, everyone in the United States with a cell phone will get a text from the federal government.
Here's the kicker - the subject of the alert will read: "Presidential Alert". There is no way to opt out of receiving this "Presidential Alert". While those can be turned off, the 2006 Warning, Alert and Response Network Act stipulates that the "Presidential Alert" cannot. But you'll likely need to get an older phone for that, since most newer phones are made to be compatible. And although you can opt out of AMBER alerts and weather alerts, you can't opt out of Presidential alerts.
"Everything is secured, password-protected and then authenticated or checked by two people before that message is sent", the official said.
"Got it!" In Seattle, the test alert arrived in the middle of the GeekWire Summit.
Officials said they expected the alert would not reach all phones for a variety of reasons.
The alert will not come across a phone if it is powered off. Cellphones must be equipped to support the Wireless Emergency Alert System to comply. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message.
Your cellphone is capable of alerting you to pressing matters, whether it be a weather advisory for your area or an AMBER alert, and now it can handle "presidential alerts", too.
People are so against the unwanted presidential alert that a lawsuit was filed September 26 to try to prevent it.
Marshall County Emergency Management coordinator Kim Elder said the emergency alerts are necessary.