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Cellphone users nationwide just received a 'Presidential Alert.' Here's what to know

05 October 2018

Cell towers will also only broadcast the alert for about 30 minutes, so if you're on the phone or out of range for a half hour after 2:18 p.m. ET, you might miss it. "No action is needed", the message read.

It was previously supposed to be tested on September 20, 2018 but was "postponed until October 3, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence". FEMA said the test is made available to EAS participants which include radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.

As mentioned previously, FEMA constructed the test as a way to see if any improvements to the system are necessary.

HuffPost The Federal Emergency Management Agency tested its first wireless alert system on Wednesday.

According to FEMA, the WEA message will have a header saying "Presidential Alert".

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Three New York residents last week filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of New York against President Donald Trump and William Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A wireless provider must also be participating in the WEA in order to receive the test message, Accuweather reported.

For the first time ever, Americans nationwide will receive an alert on their cell phones from President Trump.

A FEMA lawyer said via a phone connection to the courtroom that decisions about alerts are at the discretion of the president, just as are many other decisions involving national security.

The presidential alerts will only be used in the event of a national emergency.

It said cell phones should get the message only once. With other messages like AMBER alerts and flood warnings that automatically pop up on people's phones, many carriers let you go into your phone's settings to shut them off. "No action is required".

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Predictably, the alarm test triggered a wave of annoyance, frustration, and amusing tweets and memes about Trump, the system, and cell phones.

Cellphones across the nation buzzed with a text message from the the US President at 2.18pm - leaving the country's citizens baffled, confused and angry after they received a message from the President in spite of the fact that they did not hand over their number.

"Presidential Alerts are not to be used for general communication, and will only be used in cases of extreme national emergencies that affect public safety". It's not supposed to be used for political purposes, and it will only be used very rarely.

The idea behind the WEA is to be able to deliver alerts of different kinds to people all over the United States but to also be able to target them to specific geographic regions when necessary.

What if I didn't get the alert?

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Cellphone users nationwide just received a 'Presidential Alert.' Here's what to know