Disaster Zone

Lawsuit Seeks to Stop WEA System Tests

The real issue appears to be a lack of trust in our current president.

by Eric Holdeman / October 2, 2018

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and its predecessor, the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), has been conducting tests for decades. The tones are annoying and the required monthly tests sometimes interrupt someone's soap opera — so be it.

Which brings us to the Oct. 3 — TODAY — test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.  See this news item Lawsuit seeks to stop FEMA's "Presidential Alert" system to cellphones citing First Amendment violation  The issue here is not the wireless test, it is the fact that it has "Presidential" attached to its title, which then links it to President Trump.  Who, as we know, is a very polarizing figure in today's world.  It all has to do with trust and being trustworthy, or not.

As for the "Presidential" designation, in the EAS and former EBS world this meant that it was a "mandatory" test of the system. If you recall some stations would announce, "This station in cooperation with the FCC (or some agency--definitely not FEMA) is conducting a monthly test...."  All media stations had to comply and participate, and not opt out. A Presidential Test of WEA means there is no opting out of the test by wireless carriers or others. 

And, FYI--WEA has been around for a number of years already and this is the first test that has ever been held. I cannot recall that EAS or EBS ever having an actual Presidential warning message.  I think one should have been done on 9/11, but they didn't think to do it at the time. 

Note to self: If you don't practice with it, train with it, when it comes time for use--people won't remember to use it, or how to use it. 

Claire Rubin shared the link above.