Search
Advertisement

First test of nationwide ‘Presidential Alert’ system for cellphones set for Oct. 3

161

(ABC NEWS)- The federal government is set to conduct the first-ever test of a nationwide system to send emergency alerts to almost all cellphones in the country on October 3.

 

The “Presidential Alert” system uses the same wireless alerts smartphone users receive on AMBER alerts or severe weather warnings but allows the president, or another authorized official, to send simultaneous warnings to almost every smartphone in the country at the same time.

 

FEMA officials said that, unlike AMBER alerts or weather warnings that are sent to people in a specific area, the “Presidential Alert” would be triggered if the president, or another authorized official, decides there is “public peril” that merits a national notification. The president or his designee would notify the FEMA operations center to activate the system, and not physically set off the alert.

 

The “presidential level” message, officials say, could be used to alert the nation if there were a risk of an imminent attack or multiple terrorist attacks.

 

“If there was public peril and the president or his designee determined the public needed to be notified about these events, then that would be a trigger,” a FEMA official told reporters.

 

FEMA officials said if the nationwide alert is ever used to notify Americans of an emergency, it would be followed by instructions from state and local governments on what action residents should take.

 

The wireless alert will go out to most cell phone carriers at 2:18 p.m. EDT, followed by alerts to the broadcast emergency alert system at 2:20 p.m. on October 3. Wireless alerts will use the same special loud tone and vibration as other emergency alerts at will read “Presidential Alert: This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

 

The test was originally scheduled for Sept. 20 but was postponed due to the ongoing response to Hurricane Florence.

 

The federal government has to test its national alert system every three years. The test in October will be the first time the nationwide emergency alert test includes the Wireless Emergency Alert system that automatically sends alerts to cell phones.



Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at dhankey@woay.com. You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.


X