"THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System". The alert won't have any substantial content - it's just a system test - but this sets a whole new precedent for how Americans are informed.
"Everything is secured, password-protected and then authenticated or checked by two people before that message is sent", the official said.
The header for the notification will read "Presidential Alert". As you might've already guessed, this was a system check on FEMA's ability to send out special news bulletins in the event of natural disasters, terror attacks and other such large scale developments.
Of course, to receive the alert, your phone had to be turned on and connected to a cell tower that allows you to connect to your participating carrier.
"The President will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device", a senior FEMA official told reporters on Tuesday. Wireless users in the USA with compatible phones, connected to commercial networks run by the major wireless carriers, were supposed to get the test.
The tests were originally set to take place September 20, but the situation with Hurricane Florence in the southeastern United States caused the tests to be delayed until Wednesday.
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What just happened? That unusual notification you just received on your smartphone isn't reason for concern, it's simply a scheduled test of the wireless emergency alerts system.
This will be the first ever nationwide test of the WEA system and is meant to ensure it would be effective in case of a real emergency.
It finally happened-the "presidential alert" was sent to people's cellphones, and of course, everyone began riffing on it.
Our President now has another way to reach you.
A number of people are testing ways to turn off the presidential alerts through jailbroken or rooted phones, but these methods may bring risks of causing other problems with your phone. However, FEMA confirmed to CNN that Trump will not be sending the alert from his cellphone. Additionally, if a user is on a call, or with an active data session open on their phone, they might not have received the message. It hasn't said yet whether the test went well. FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission are conducting the tests.
The alert will appear as long as the device is on, and may also show up on smartwatches, according to officials.