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Author Topic: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday POSTPONED!  (Read 1282 times)

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Offline TexasTechnician

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Here is the link to the story: https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-administration-send-u-cellphones-test-alert-thursday-184608708.html

Here is the story:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will send a message to all U.S. cellphones on Thursday to test a previously unused alert system that aims to warn the public about national emergencies.

The messages will bear the headline "Presidential Alert", the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a statement this week. Phones will make a loud tone and have a special vibration, said FEMA, which will send the alert.
The test message, scheduled for 2:18 p.m. EDT on Thursday, will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

The test has been scheduled to ensure that the alert system would work in the event of a national emergency. U.S. cellphone users will not be able to opt out.

Former President Barack Obama signed a law in 2016 requiring FEMA to create a system allowing the president to send cellphone alerts regarding public safety emergencies.

Since the wireless emergency alert system began in 2012, it has issued over 36,000 alerts for situations such as missing children, extreme weather and natural disasters, but never a presidential directive. Cell phone users can opt out of natural disaster or missing children alerts.

FEMA said in a statement the alerts can only be used for national emergencies. The president has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level alerts are used.

In the event of widespread severe weather or another significant event on Sept. 20, the test will be pushed back to Oct. 3, FEMA said.
The administration announced in July that it would schedule the test alert for September. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its role in planning the test alert.

The administration will send a test alert via radio and television broadcasters two minutes after the cell phone alert. It will interrupt programming for about one minute, FEMA said.

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules to ensure starting in 2019 that alerts are more precisely targeted, with links to photos or other important information.

There have been issues with prior state alerts.
In January, Hawaii issued a false alert of a missile attack that went uncorrected for 38 minutes after being transmitted to mobile phones and broadcast stations, causing widespread panic across the Pacific islands state.
In April, the FCC blamed that false alarm on human error and inadequate safeguards.

(Reporting by Jason Lange, David Shepardson and David Morgan in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)


Online hbiss

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 10:12:02 AM »
How many accidents is this going to cause by people who are unaware of this test and are driving?

-Hal
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Online MacGyver

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 12:47:28 PM »
Thanks for the heads up, Bobby.
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Online Keighlar

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 01:33:21 PM »
Thanks.  I hadn't heard, either. 
“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
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Online CMDL_GUY

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 03:28:01 PM »
Thanks for the heads-up I didn't know about it either!   With that said, I'm with Hal.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington

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Online Yoda

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 04:37:59 PM »
I would have thought it was a scam, but having read it here, now I know it's true.

Offline EV607797

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2018, 08:38:24 PM »
I wonder why this is not being reported by any other news sources?  Wouldn't you think that in the effort of keeping people from freaking out and crashing their cars,  they'd spread the word through more than one media outlet?  Even WTOP News, perhaps the nation's capital's most reliable an up-to-date news source shows nothing.

I'm glad to know that this might be just a test, but something tells me that nothing is going to happen.  I'll be sure to pull over and wait at 2:18 just in case.
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Online hbiss

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 10:20:57 PM »
Because anything good Trump does you never hear about. Now tomorrow, if this test goes bad in the tiniest way you can be sure you'll hear how Trump screwed up.

-Hal
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Offline TexasTechnician

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Re: Trump administration to send U.S. cellphones a test alert on Thursday
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 11:21:07 PM »
According to this link https://nypost.com/2018/09/17/trump-delays-plans-to-test-national-emergency-alert-system/ it has been postponed.


I've edited the title of this thread so that people will see the update hopefully.

Online MacGyver

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From Bobby's link above:

The test message was originally scheduled for 2:18 p.m. New York time on Thursday but is being pushed back to the same time on Oct. 3 because of the continuing response to Hurricane Florence, FEMA said in a statement.

And agreed.  The news won't report it, but then let a duck get hit in a crosswalk because someone was confused and wait for the tar and feathering to begin. 
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Online hbiss

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Well, it's exactly 2:18 and nothing so I guess the story was right. I don't get pushing it back because of Florence. Isn't this system supposed to be used during disasters? What better time to test it.

-Hal
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Offline TexasTechnician

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Thanks Trace. For some reason it would not let me copy and paste.

I never knew this system even existed until the first article appeared.

I agree that the systems needs to be tested and the sooner the better. And I also agree that it should be announced on every possible media in advance of the test. But that's the way things go in anything to do with the Gov.


I kind of like the idea of a system like that if anything were to happen that we should know about it would be nice to know about it.

Offline EV607797

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I imagine that we have the technology since we already have regional alerting for Amber Alerts, weather warnings, etc.  I would guess it's not difficult to link the regions together.
Ed Vaughn

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I don't see how it won't overload the cellular networks, just like every other mass emergency does.
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Online hbiss

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Excellent point! I assume that they will stagger the alerts starting at 2:18. And I wonder what's the reason for 2:18? Why not 2:30?

-Hal
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Online Keighlar

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Someone's birthday?   :011:
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