He plans to message every cell phone in America to test a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) system that will allow any US president to communicate directly via a text message with the public during a national emergency.
The message should read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".
This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test, according to FEMA. It is part of a nationwide test by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of Wireless Emergency Alerts systems to assess its effectiveness. Based on the Form 3 now available in the ETRS system, participants will be required to identify the specific times at which they received and retransmitted the test message, the source (s) from which they received the test (including which source it was received from first), the language in which the message was received and retransmitted, and any complications they experienced.
This will be the first time WEA has ever been tested and will be followed by a test of the national Emergency Alert System which has only been tested three times before.
Under federal law, users can opt out of the alerts for "imminent threats" and AMBER alerts about abducted children but "not for presidential messages", FEMA warns. "No action is needed", the message will say. The test will start at 2:18 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
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No one with a cell phone can opt out of presidential alerts.
The system is used to warn the public in cases of emergency, such as risky weather, and missing children. Users can not opt out of the WEA test.
FEMA will also run a test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) for radio and television broadcasters the same day, beginning two minutes after the WEA test.
Officials in Alaska want to hear from residents and what they think about the effectiveness of a national emergency system.
"Presidential Alerts are to be used during a national emergency, though none have been sent to date". Finally, all EAS participants will also be required to file a post-test ETRS Form 3 no later than November 5. If for some reason there's interference with Thursday's test, a backup is scheduled for October 3.