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FEMA to test 'Presidential Alert' system next week

15 September 2018

Wireless Emergency Alerts can be sent by the National Weather Service, local first responder agencies, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President through a system devised by FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission.

UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades".

The alert test will be performed on the National Wireless Emergency Alert system next week on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 10:18 a.m., with a EAN (Emergency Action Notification) test at 10:20 a.m.

The alert will be sent out on September 20 around 2:18 p.m. eastern time.

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This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test.

Despite Trump's frequent use of Twitter as a method of communicating, experts told NBC News on Friday that Trump would not overuse the "Presidential Alert" system.

An EAS message will also be sent out at the same time. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. The well-worn emergency alert system reaches mainly radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers. FEMA also assured people that it can't track cell phone users' locations through the alert system.

You don't need to take any action for the test.

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The WEA system is already used to warn the public about missing children, unsafe weather and other vital information, FEMA said.

The WEA test will be sent through IPAWS, as part of the nation's modern alert and warning infrastructure that automatically authenticates alerts.

The test will go out to participating wireless phone company customers whose phones are turned on and within range of an active cell tower.

The agency is required to conduct a nationwide test of its public alert systems no less than once every three years under the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015.

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FEMA to test 'Presidential Alert' system next week