The initial test of FEMA's "presidential alarm" is scheduled for 2:18 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The phone has to be on and within range of an active cell tower during the test, and the alert won't interrupt phone calls or appear on phones with an active data session in the background.
The alert will go out to mobile phones at 2:18 p.m. and it will followed by similar emergency alert system tests broadcast on radio and television stations throughout the country. The national WEA test will use the same special tone and vibration.
The test has been scheduled to ensure that the alert system would work in the event of a national emergency.
According to the FEMA website, more than 100 cell phone providers have agreements with FEMA to participate in the alert message.
Congress has placed limits on when the president can trigger such a warning, saying it must relate to a natural or man-made disaster or public safety threat.
Failla said the claims were too speculative to block the test.
The test today is a joint WEA and EAS test.
Unlike other alerts, cell phone users cannot opt out of messages from the "Presidential Alert System".
It said cell phones should get the message only once.
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The National Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) is typically used to warn the public about missing children, unsafe weather, and other critical information via cell phone alerts.
As technology advanced in the late 1990s, so did the need to upgrade the nation's alert system, which in 1997 became the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
The beep of the test alert echoed through Times Square, causing some pedestrians to look up in confusion before turning back to their phones and continuing with their day.
The WEA message will read: "Presidential Alert".
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was testing the system to alert people about national emergencies for the first time.
Instead, FEMA officials confer with other government agencies and the White House, select one of several pre-written messages, customize the message to fit the particular emergency and send it out. U.S. cellphone users are not able opt out of presidential alerts.
It is unknown if Trump will attempt to misuse this power as a political tool to make announcements.
"Plaintiffs are American citizens who do not wish to receive text messages, or messages of any kind, on any topic or subject, from defendant Trump", the lawsuit (posted below) reads.