Hundreds of millions of phones and other electronic devices have been sent the first ever ‘Presidential Alert’ text.
Around 225million devices received the message at 2:18pm EDT Wednesday, which read
‘Presidential Alert. ‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.’
The message was accompanied by a high-pitched tone similar to that received during an Amber Alert of flood warning.
It is the first test of the national wireless emergency system by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The text paves the way for future high-level ‘presidential’ alert that would be transmitted in the event of a nationwide emergency.
FEMA officials said Tuesday they would share test result data on how the testing went with mobile carriers to help ensure the system works well in a true emergency.
The message was broadcast by cell towers for 30 minutes, meaning some devices may have received it later than others.
And it is impossible to escape unless your phone is switched off, with the tone sounding on phones that have meet muted or set to ‘Do not disturb.’
The presidential alert angered some who said they did not wish to receive a text from President Trump’s administration.
Three people sued claiming it breached their constitutional rights, but New York District Judge Katherine Polk Failla rejected a last minute attempt to block it.
FEMA insists the system will never be used to transmit any sort of personal message from the president.