Re: fema alert today. you need to know.
it was mentioned:toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
"Although today is a test, any future presidential alert can be sent
solely at the discretion of the president and can be issued for any reason."
In short, no.
Because it has been dubbed a Presidential Alert, some have claimed that
Trump himself will be sending out a personalized message.
However, FEMA said the alert system meant to be used in case of an
emergency, and Wednesday’s Presidential Alert will only feature a brief
text pertaining directly the test.
There is also a law prohibiting Trump or any president from abusing the
system. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act
of 2015 specifically states that the warning system must only be used to
alert the public of a potential disaster, so if Trump were to use the
presidential alert for anything other than it’s intended use, he would
be breaking the law.
“Except to the extent necessary for testing the public alert and warning
system, the public alert and warning system shall not be used to
transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of
terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.” the
“The message is not coming directly from the President,” a FEMA
spokesman tells TIME. “The message is going to be sent on behalf of the
president. The president or anyone that he designates will be advised by
the staff to activate the warning and then issue it to the public, at
that time the designee would contact FEMA at our operations center and
tell us to activate the warning.”
-------- Original Message --------
From: netbat66 [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, Oct 3, 2018 12:28 PM EST
Subject: fema alert today. you need to know.
sorry, but i thought if i only sent a link you would think this is spam.
i wanted everyone to know about this fema alert all cell phone users are
going to get today at 11:20 california time.
FEMA is about to send a ‘Presidential Alert’ to millions of U.S. phones
Zack Whittaker@zackwhittaker / 2 hours ago
In a few hours, millions of Americans will get a test emergency
“Presidential Alert” message sent to their phone — a simulation in case
the president ever needs to reach to entire country in a national
At 2:18pm ET, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will send a
short alert, saying: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency
Alert System. No action is needed.” A few minutes later, televisions and
radio broadcasts will briefly suspend and a similar message will run.
The test was originally scheduled for mid-September but was delayed
until Wednesday after Hurricane Florence hit the east coast.
This will be the first time the government has conducted a nationwide
test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, according to a FEMA
Emergency warnings used to be confined to television and radio
broadcasts, sounding out that familiar terrifying high-pitch tone. But as
consumers moved away from televisions and radio to mobile devices
that are always with us, the government began working on a system to
get emergency alerts in our hands.
Since it was devised in 2006 under the Bush administration, the Wireless
Emergency Alert (WEA) has slowly rolled out across the U.S. to form a
new state-of-the-art emergency alert system. Like the legacy system, the
WEA is designed to alert Americans to bad weather and missing children
at a local level directly to your phone.
But now FEMA wants to test a third alert — the presidential alert — which
will send a message to every switched-on phone with cell service across
the U.S. at the same time.
This won’t be a text message sent to your phone, experts say. Instead of
sending text messages that would flood the networks, the alerts are sent
directly over the cellular network.
Although today is a test, any future presidential alert can be sent solely
at the discretion of the president and can be issued for any reason. And,
unlike other alerts, Americans cannot opt-out of receiving a presidential
Some have expressed concern that the system could be abused for
political reasons. Others worry that the system could be hacked.
Tom Crane, an expert in emergency management at Everbridge, a critical
communications provider, told TechCrunch that the WEA has “extra
safeguards” in place before sending an alert. An authorized user has to
enter a complex password that has two elements — a private key and a
keystore password — which are unique for each alerting authority.
“It’s not as easy as ‘someone left their computer unattended so i’m going
to send a Wireless Emergency Alert’,” he said.
The emergency alert system is far from perfect. Earlier this year, panic
spread on Hawaii after an erroneous alert warned residents of a “ballistic
missile threat inbound.” The message said, “this is not a drill.” The false
warning was amid the height of tensions between the US and North9:20 AM
Korea, which at the time was regularly test-firing rockets used for its
nuclear missile program.