Don’t worry, it’s just President Trump texting you.
At 2:18 p.m. Wednesday, Trump will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send 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.”
“The President will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device,” a senior FEMA official said on a conference call Tuesday. “You would not have a situation where any sitting president would wake up one morning and attempt to send a particular message.”
Instead, the alert system is expected to be used in emergency situations, like a “coordinated attack on our major cities across the country” or “some other type of public peril that is ongoing in the country at the time.”
FEMA said in a press release that the notification will be sent through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS), the same systems used for Amber Alerts and weather warnings.
There’s no way to turn the alert off; any cell phone that is turned on and within range of an active cell tower will receive the notification.
Last week, three New Yorkers filed a lawsuit against Trump and FEMA administrator Brock Long, claiming the alert violates the First and Fourth Amendment rights “to be free from Government-compelled listening, as well as warrantless, non-consensual trespass into and seizure of their cellular devices.”