Trump won't be sending 'presidential alert' from his phone, FEMA says


All these years later, it's not the left side of the political spectrum that's anxious about the political alerts.

The mobile device-owning public won't be able to opt out a test of the presidential-level Wireless Emergency Alert on October 3, according to senior officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission.

The test message was originally scheduled for September but pushed back to 2:18 p.m. EDT (1818 GMT) on Wednesday with phones making a loud tone and a special vibration.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts system will send a test message to most of the cell phone in the nation. "No action is needed".

Federal officials said Trump was not personally involved in sending the alert, which would be sent in the event of a pending missile attack or other national emergency. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar and interrupts programming for approximately one minute. And while other emergency alerts may annoy some, they are created to help and protect people so you may want to think twice about turning any off. Others didn't get it at all. FEMA officials estimate it will reach about 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including phones on all of the major carriers. It hasn't said yet whether the test went well.

Unlike emergency alerts and Amber alerts, these presidential alerts can not be turned off, according to FEMA.

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On Android devices, turning off emergency alerts will vary by manufacturer.

Screen shot from WTAW News Director Bill Oliver's cell phone.

The FEMA official explained that some wireless device owners can "opt-out" of lower-level alerts on their phone settings, such as threat warnings that can accompany weather events and Amber alerts that warn of endangered children.

Bryan Broadcasting vice president and general manager Ben Downs says it's a nationwide test that you cannot turn off. And the text message will contain up to 80 characters. A separate alert on TV and radios will be issued at 2:20 p.m.

Click below for comments from Ben Downs, visiting with WTAW's Bill Oliver.

Emergency Alerts can be turned off on a Galaxy Note 9 by going into the Messages app.