What is the Presidential Alert? Donald Trump Sliding Into Your DMs
On Wednesday last week, nearly a quarter billion phones in America were notified by Trump’s test of the Presidential Alert. The aim of the alert is to warn Americans about national emergencies. It works similar to weather or Amber alerts. However, unlike these other alert systems, Presidential Alerts cannot be turned off.
The FEMA website explains which phones would receive the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) in an emergency saying, “WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message.” FEMA also said later that, “Additionally, if a user is on a call, or with an active data session open on their phone, they might not have received the message.”
FEMA is encouraging the public to send comments on the test to [email protected] Users who did not get the alert should send: What device they use, their wireless provider, whether they were using their phone when the alert went out, and whether others nearby received the alert.
Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month. FEMA is required by law to conduct a nationwide test of its public alert systems no less than once every three years.