The test went out at 2:18 p.m. EDT to all cellphones connected to wireless providers participating in the WEA. It's only a test, so there's nothing to worry about.
More than 200 million U.S. mobile phones are set to receive a test "Presidential Alert" later on Wednesday.
Millions of Americans with a USA telephone number became a part of history on Wednesday afternoon - whether they were aware of it or not.
About 225 million electronic devices across the United States will wail and buzz Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an emergency alert test. It was originally named the Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN), was later renamed the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), and is now finally the WEA.
The official Twitter handle of Comedy Central's The Daily Show tweeted a screen grab of a smart phone with the "Presidential Alert" which read: 'MISSING PERSON - I HAVEN'T SEEN MELANIA IN MONTHS!' A test message will be sent to wireless devices throughout the country and territories.
It's very similar to Amber Alerts, however unlike the noisy notifications that warn people in a particular area of a child abduction, people can not opt out of this one. The WEA test can, however, be ducked by powering your phone down.
"Presidential Alert", the message read.
It's a robust system that helps ensure public safety alerts can reach a large percentage of the population. Weather alerts can be sent nationwide, but not all at once like Presidential alerts.
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Not everyone was pleased about the decision to send out the test alert.
AMBER Alerts: These alerts notify the public about child abduction. But you're also not charged for them. Indeed the legal basis and system for the alert, through the Communications Act of 1934, has apparently already been used over 40,000 times by local governments for various natural disasters and other crises in just the past half-decade alone.
What Can I Expect Today?
A tone will sound, mirroring previous alerts you may have received, like Amber Alerts or flood watch warnings. The message is a part of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed, ' " FEMA wrote.
Officials estimate a missile would take less than 30 minutes to travel the 9,000-kilometre distance between North Korea and Hawaii, leaving residents with as few as 12 minutes to find shelter following detection and alert.
FEMA officials estimate almost 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including major carriers, will receive the alert. "No action is required". Expect the same double beep and vibration as you would receiving the other alerts. It is scheduled to last approximately one minute. They failed, at least when it came to the test. J.B. Only phones that are WEA compatible, turned on, and within range of an active cell tower will actually get the message.
"I'm just like wow", said fairgoer Isabel Chicas.