Here's Why You Got That Text From The President Today

At 2:18 pm EST today, President Donald Trump sent a presidential alert to every cellular device that was connected to wireless providers participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts. 

The message read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The message was accompanied by a special tone and vibration that was repeated twice. 

FEMA reports that this is the fourth Emergency Alert System nationwide test and the first national Wireless Emergency Test.  The purpose of this test is to provide a, “national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency.” 

The test does not come directly from the president, even if the name suggests otherwise and are pre-written and approved messages from government agencies.

The tests were initially implemented following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. 

These alerts are not full proof though. In January, Hawaii’s emergency alert system sent a message to over one million cellphone users warning of a ballistic missile threat. The warning was a mistake but has since raised concerns of nationwide alerts like these. 

Today’s test was originally planned for September 20, 2018 but was postponed due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.