Any cellphone that is turned on and within range of an active cell tower will receive the notification this afternoon. In addition to the Wireless Emergency Alert on your phone, you may see a warning displayed on television and broadcasted on radio at 2:20 p.m. EDT as part of EAS (Emergency Alert System) testing.
FEMA invites the public to send comments on the nationwide EAS-WEA test to FEMA-National-Test@fema.dhs.gov. One plaintiff writes that the president "consistently disseminates disinformation and politically-biased messages" and objects to being compelled to receive the alerts because "messages sent by Trump typically include disinformation". That sprouted from a 2006 Congressional act passed to fund a national alert system that President George W. Bush called for after the federal government's bungled Hurricane Katrina response in 2005, according to CNET.
Earlier on Wednesday, a federal judge in New York City rejected a request to block the test in a lawsuit filed last month by three New York residents.
Nearly every person in the United States who has a cell phone is going to receive a Presidential Alert on Wednesday. The message will be broadcast by cell towers for 30 minutes, so it's possible some people may get it at a different time.
The intent of the alert was to test the ability to warn Americans about a disaster, such as severe weather, or an event of national effect.
The National Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) is typically used to warn the public about missing children, risky weather, and other critical information via cell phone alerts. But that's not an option on presidential alerts.
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The goal of Wednesday's test is to check how well the system works and iron out any wrinkles that do crop up, so that it works properly in the event of a national emergency. "No action is required". You'll get a message on your phone with a tone & vibration.
"Agencies like the National Weather Service and local governments use these systems to provide life-saving information during and after natural disasters and other emergencies", Silliman said.
A group of New Yorkers filed a lawsuit in federal court in NY arguing they should not be compelled to receive the alerts under their right to free speech.
As they say. this was just a test. "This is something that should not be used for a political agenda", he said. Mistakes like that could make people nervous about this new nationwide alert. Unlike the presidential message, these can be switched off.