World

U.S. 'presidential test alert' sets American phones to buzzing

Reuters

The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent an alert on Wednesday aimed at tens of millions of mobile phones to test a previously unused presidential alert system to warn the public in the event of a national emergency.

The test message was originally scheduled for September but pushed back to 2:18 p.m. EDT (1818 GMT) on Wednesday with phones making a loud tone and a special vibration. The message read: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” A separate alert on televison and radios was issued at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

Federal officials said Trump was not personally involved in sending the alert, which would be sent in the event of a pending missile attack or other national emergency. U.S. cellphone users are not able to opt out of presidential alerts.

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