Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr
The President of the United States is capable of a LOT of things while in office, and now, they’ll be able to message every single U.S. phone number at once. Today at 2:18 p.m. ET, President Donald Trump and FEMA will test the new Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) that’s designed to notify all U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency.
According to FEMA, cell phones will need to be turned on and connected to a participating cell provider’s network. If you met these prerequisites, you’ll receive a “Presidential Alert” on your phone in the form of a loud buzz with a pop-up on your display detailing the cause for the notification. For today’s test, the service won’t show anything more than the statement below.
THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. 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. No action is required.
IPAWS is designed to alert anyone with a U.S. phone number of emergencies or dangers more efficiently than ever before. Each alert will arrive the same way flood warnings or Amber alerts pop up on your phone. The alerts will also show on your television and radio. A test of these warnings will be performed today at 2:20 p.m. ET as well.
So if your phone spontaneously starts buzzing and making weird sounds, know there isn’t any emergency or action you need to take. It’s just a simple test to keep us all safer in the future.