Donald Trump will text all Americans next week to test FEMA’s new 'Presidential Alert' system, and you can't opt out
The FEMA emergency message test will take place at 2:18 pm ET on Thursday, September 20 and 100 major cell phone carriers are participating in the event
It has been announed that President Donald Trump will text your cell phone next week and, no, this is not an attempt to spread political propaganda. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is all set to test out a new "Presidential alert" system which will have the president text practically every person in the US who has a cell phone. More than a 100 major cell phone carriers have said that they will participate in the test which will take place at 2:18 pm ET on Thursday, September 20. However, it has also been said that no one with a cell phone will be able to opt out of receiving the message.
FEMA said in a statement that was released on September 15 that everyone whose service provider is participating in the test will receive a message to their phones that will say "Presidential Alert". It has been said that when the alert arrives on the phone, a tone and a vibration is said to go off twice. This is the same sound that is used for AMBER alerts and weather warnings, reported the Daily Mail.
It has been reported that everyone will receive a message on their phones in English that reads: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." FEMA said in a statement: "The EAS [Emergency Alert System] is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency."
The system will also be used to warn members of the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and any other kind of critical situation through the alerts on the cell phones. FEMA has also said that the cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell phone tower should receive the text just once.
Many Twitter users have already been quick to respond to the news. One user said: "Can I block him?" Another said: "Take my number off the list! God, just what we need." Officials, however, have assured people that this messaging service will not be like how the president seems to tweet his thoughts on a daily basis.
Kren North, the director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California, told NBC: "If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president, then this is a great idea and an amazing use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harm's way." According to FEMA, this is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test.
EAS national tests were conducted previously in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017 after collaborating with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA's National Preparedness Month.