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FEMA sends 'Presidential Alert' to millions of U.S. phones


Unless you were able to find a remote location where cell towers can’t reach, you just got a text from the President.

At 2:18 p.m. ET Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent an alert to every cell phone in the United States: “Presidential Alert: This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

Two minutes later, the same “Presidential Alert” went across radio and television waves.

“Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems helps to assess the operational readiness of alerting infrastructure and to identify any needed technology and administrative improvements,” FEMA said in a press release ahead of the alert, which uses the same system as Amber Alerts and weather warnings.

On Tuesday, a senior FEMA official assured reporters that Trump — or any future President — will not use the system through his or her personal cell phone.

"You would not have a situation where any sitting president would wake up one morning and attempt to send a particular message,” the official said on a call.

WEA launched in 2012 and has sent more than 40,000 alerts to mobile devices and warns the public of circumstances like, missing persons, life-threatening weather and other critical occurrences.

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