- How to stream Bills vs. Bengals in NFL Week 3 action 1 Year Ago
- Colt halts production of AR-15s for civilians 1 Year Ago
- If you love long-winded, hashtag-heavy Instagram captions, these apps can help Today 2:54 PM
- Teen girls on TikTok have convinced the internet that they eat their tampons Today 2:33 PM
- Twitch streamer faces criticism for trying to defend racist jokes Today 2:03 PM
- How to stream Raiders vs. Vikings in Week 3 Today 12:55 PM
- NRA calls Beto O’Rourke ‘AR-15 salesman of the month’ in wake of buyback proposal Today 12:03 PM
- After 23 deaths, Sean Bean is tired of getting killed on-screen Today 11:48 AM
- Stephen Miller has a girlfriend—and people are stunned Today 11:35 AM
- Mickey Rourke says Robert De Niro iced him out of ‘The Irishman’ Today 11:07 AM
- Conservative men are melting down over Elizabeth Warren’s speech Today 10:40 AM
- People are calling rapper Tekashi 69 a ‘snitch’ for outing gang members Today 10:16 AM
- Greta Thunberg tells Congress to ‘listen to the scientists’ about climate crisis Today 9:55 AM
- Maybe we should start taking Tom DeLonge seriously about UFOs Today 9:11 AM
- Get ready to argue about the alternate-history politics of HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ Today 8:53 AM
Personal emergency alerts from President Donald Trump are set to test on your smartphone next week, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system is already in use in the U.S.—smartphone users are likely familiar with the loud, droning tone of flood warnings or Amber alerts.
The new test will use the same tone to alert users of communication directly from the president in the case of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other events of significant national import. It will test on Sept. 20, FEMA representatives say.
According to FEMA, more than 100 mobile carriers will participate in the system, including major carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
While some have expressed concerns about the system, given Trump’s unhinged communications on Twitter, the system won’t be used for political rhetoric, since the 2015 legislation that authorizes it explicitly states that the system cannot be used for anything other than alerting the public to major threats to public safety.
“This is a great idea and an amazing use of technology to reach everybody if they’re in harm’s way,” Karen North, the director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California, told NBC News.
Furthermore, it could be an essential step in keeping Americans safe when many of us are tied to our phones.
The test will last for about 30 minutes, beginning at 2:18pm ET on Thursday. All mobile phones that are switched on and within the range of a cell tower should receive the message if their provider is participating in the test.
The message should read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is required,” and should have a header that reads, “Presidential Alert.” If for some reason there’s interference with Thursday’s test, a backup is scheduled for Oct. 3.
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.