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Argh! America gets a text from Trump, memes ensue

04 October, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday

Others didn't get it at all.

When President Donald Trump presses send on this message, every active cell phone in the country will receive an alert-approximately 225 million smart phones reaching 75 percent of the US population.

She said the warning for that specific tornado came via stormspotters reporting to the National Weather Service, who then saw that the appropriate tornado sirens went off in the area. The goal is to have phones get the alert at the same time.

"The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed", according to FEMA.

In New York, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla rejected a last-minute effort to block the test.

Failla called the constitutional questions raised by the lawsuit significant and urged the litigants to find lawyers to help them proceed.

While thousands of articles were published about this test, there are still hundreds of questions, comments and claims spreading misinformation.


The FEMA official said that in past, smaller tests, about 75% of phones received the alert.

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. Trump was not to use the platform as a means of sending a political message. It will be followed by a broadcast alert two minutes later.

The federal government is required by law to test its alerting systems every three years.

FEMA officials use a device that's "very similar to a laptop computer", the senior FEMA official said. It's the same system that sends out Amber Alerts (for missing children) and weather warnings.

"The President will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device", a senior FEMA official told reporters on Tuesday. This week's alert marks the first time the system has been tested nationwide. U.S. cellphone users are not able opt out of presidential alerts.

All cellphone users will be receiving the alert which will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

Still, a group of New Yorkers is suing in federal court saying they can't be forced to receive the alerts because they violate their right to free speech.

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