Skip to main content

FEMA to send its first ‘Presidential Alert’ in emergency messaging system test

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will this week test a new “presidential alert” system that will allow the president to send a message to every phone in the US.

The alert is the first nationwide test of the presidential alert test, FEMA said in an advisory, which allows the president to address the nation in the event of a national emergency.

Using the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, anyone with cell service should receive the message to their phone.

The presidential alert to be sent Tuesday will look like this. (Image: FEMA)

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” the message will read, due to be sent out on Thursday at 2:18pm ET.

Minutes later, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will broadcast a similar test message over television, radio, and wireline video services.

Emergency alerts aren’t new and warning systems have long been used — and tested — in the US to alert citizens of local and state incidents, like AMBER alerts for missing children and severe weather events that may result in danger to or loss of life.

But presidential alerts have yet to be tested. Unlike other alerts, citizens will not be allowed to opt out of presidential alerts.

Allowing the president to send nationwide alerts was included in the passing of the WARN Act in 2006 under the Bush administration, creating a state-of-the-art emergency alert system that would replace an aging infrastructure. As alarming as these alerts can (and are designed to) be, the system aims to modernize the alerts system for a population increasingly moving away from televisions and towards mobile technology.

These presidential alerts are solely at the discretion of the president and can be sent for any reason, but experts have shown little concern that the system may be abused.

But the system isn’t perfect. Earlier this year, panic spread on Hawaii after an erroneous alert went out to residents warning of a “ballistic missile thread inbound.” The message said, “this is not a drill.” The false warning was amid the height of tensions between the US and North Korea, which at the time was regularly testing its ballistic missiles as part of its nuclear weapons program.

More than 100 carriers will participate in the test, FEMA said.



from TechCrunch https://ift.tt/2Qz4b5x

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Android blatantly copies the iPhone X navigation gestures

Google unveiled some of the new features in the next version of Android at its developer conference. One feature looked particularly familiar. Android P will get new navigation gestures to switch between apps. And it works just like the iPhone X.“As part of Android P, we’re introducing a new system navigation that we’ve been working on for more than a year now,” VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke said. “And the new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand.”While Google has probably been working on a new multitasking screen for a year, it’s hard to believe that the company didn’t copy Apple. The iPhone X was unveiled in September 2017.On Android P, the traditional home, back and multitasking buttons are gone. There’s a single pill-shaped button at the center of the screen. If you swipe up from this button, you get a new multitasking view with your most recent apps. You can swipe left and right and select the app you’re looking for.If you swipe up o…

Square launches restaurant point-of-sale platform

Square, which has already made its way into retail stores and service-based businesses (think hair salons, massage therapists, etc), is officially getting into the restaurant business with the launch of Square for Restaurants. Square for Restaurants is a point-of-sale system that handles everything from menu updates, floor layouts, employee scheduling, performance tracking to tip splitting.Usually, restaurants have “some old legacy thing or something else,” Square Seller Lead Alyssa Henry told me.“Historically, we’ve not served this customer segment very well,” Henry said. “With Square for Restaurants, we’re excited to finally be able to serve this customer segment and deliver on a couple of key things that are core to Square but also highly valued by sellers of all types.”This new product is designed to be fast, self-serve, elegant and cohesive, Henry said. It also integrates seamlessly into Square’s existing ecosystem that includes Payroll, Capital and more. Given Square’s ownership…