The Trump administration is testing a nationwide Emergency Alert Test broadcast that will go out to radio, television and, for the first time, on mobile devices as well.
The mobile broadcast, technically called a Wireless Emergency Alert, began at press time and will continue to be distributed by the nation’s cellular networks for about 30 minutes. The national Emergency Alert System test on radio and TV will then run from 2:20pm Eastern for one minute.
The WEA bulletin should be headed by the words “Presidential Alert” along with the text:
THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is conducting the test in conjunction with the FCC and the National Weather Service. The NWS has already been broadcasting alerts to localities under a severe or special weather advisory, but this is the first national test — it’s meant to communicate integral messages regarding imminent national security threats.
The test was postponed from September 20 due to the influence of Hurricane Florence already triggering alerts in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.