FEMA to test 'Presidential Alert' system next week

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Trump is about to get his own "presidential alert" system plugged into your cell phone.

Cell phone users may receive a text from President Donald Trump next Thursday as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts its first presidential-level Wireless Emergency Alert test.

In the test next week everyone will receive a message that will look like a text and will be headed "Presidential Alert", said FEMA.

After the alert, The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wants Alaskans to weigh in on how they thought the test went, by completing a survey that will be found on the state's website.

It's not a political message, but an emergency test message sent from President Donald Trump as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's system to warn the public in cases of emergency, such as unsafe weather, and missing children.

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

More than 100 carriers, including the largest carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile), will participate in the emergency alert test, FEMA said.

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There will be an initial test of the presidential alert system on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

Unlike the president's tweets, officials have assured that system will not be used for political messages.

The system is used to warn the public in cases of emergency, such as risky weather, and missing children.

"If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president then this is a great idea and an unbelievable use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harms way", said Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California.

The EAS is also used with radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers, the agency said.

Even though experts explained to The Hill the national emergency notification system has for decades remained "professional and impartial", those opposed to the president did not welcome FEMA's announcement.

Two minutes after the WEA tests, FEMA will also test nationwide warnings of the Emergency Alert System, which is similar to the older Emergency Broadcast System and sends alerts via radio and television.

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