The president is expected to send a message to every phone in the USA on Thursday as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new "presidential alert" system, which will allow the commander in chief to reach anyone with cell service in the event of a national emergency.
John Clouse, deputy director of Daviess County EMA, said the national test was a step forward for the future of disaster alerts, but it also had a deep connection to work in Daviess County. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not.
Mobile alerts sent through the WEA system are now categorized as imminent threats about emergencies in an area, including extreme weather, AMBER alerts for missing children or "Presidential alerts about emergencies of national outcome", FEMA said.
Users will have the option to opt out of receiving alerts for imminent threats and AMBER alert categories but will not be able to opt out of Presidential alerts.
You don't need to take any action for the test.
The test alert will be delivered straight to your phone around 1:18 p.m. central time.
FEMA noted the WEA is used to alert the public about "dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones".
The latest announcement about the alert comes amid a flurry of tweets from President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account in recent days regarding Hurricane Florence.
FEMA said in a statement the alerts can only be used for national emergencies. The message would possibly be accompanied by an emergency alert tone.The EAS test will involve an identical message dispensed by technique of television and radio. "This will be the first national WEA test". Finally, all EAS participants will also be required to file a post-test ETRS Form 3 no later than November 5.
Former President Barack Obama signed a law in 2016 requiring FEMA to create a system that lets U.S. presidents send cellphone alerts regarding public safety issues like natural disasters and "terrorism".
The test is part of FEMA's National Preparedness Month.
If circumstances, such as a major weather event, cause the tests to be postponed, the backup date is Wednesday, Oct. 3.