The ‘Presidential Alert’ received across the country was part of a test to evaluate the readiness of federal emergency communication infrastructure.
At 2:18 p.m. EDT on Oct. 3, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent a nationwide alert through test the National Wireless Emergency Alert system.
The message read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” and it was accompanied by a loud tone and vibration. The test closely mimicked those sent out for AMBER alerts, although there was no way to opt out of the federal test.
ï¿½ï¿½ TODAY (10/3): At 2:18 PM EDT, we will be testing the Wireless Emergency Alert system nationwide. Expect a message box on your phone along with a loud tone and vibration.Questions? Visit https://t.co/Op8T9AEpiF pic.twitter.com/cCXJGGObPP
— FEMA (@fema) October 3, 2018
The system is designed to allow the federal government, specifically the president, to communicate directly with the public during a time of national emergency, dangerous weather events and other critical situations.