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Elementary School News

FEMA's 'Presidential Alert' to be tested Wednesday

Posted on: October 3, 2018
people on cell phone and reading a book


At 2:18pm ET on Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, nearly every American will receive a test TEXT alert from the President of the United States, President Trump.  This message will read "THIS IS A TEST." 

The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, initially launched in 2012, will be tested on a national level, and is not an optional participation text.  The only way for U.S. cellphone users to not get the "Presidential Alert" is to have their phone switched off, not be within range of an active cell tower, or be with a wireless provider not participating in the WEA. Currently, more than 100 cellular providers voluntarily participate in the WEA system.  The text is expected to reach over 95% of Americans and will be used to transmit messages related to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters or threats to public safety.  The intended use of this alert system is to inform of emergency situations and provide advisory directions to follow, with the intent of saving lives.  

Currently, WEA is limited to 90 characters, but that is expected to increase a 360 character limit beginning May 2019.