Did your phone alert you of a strange message this afternoon? Were you confused and possibly concerned? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
At 2:18 p.m. EST, FEMA sent out a presidential alert in order to test the Wireless Emergency Alert system. With the message came a loud tone similar to that of an Amber Alert or tornado and flood warning.
“This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” the message states. It is the first test of the emergency system.
Don’t panic: At 2:18 pm ET, FEMA will send a presidential alert with the following message to test the Wireless Emergency Alert System pic.twitter.com/z5M2nfDAgZ
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 3, 2018
News of the alert prompted many to wonder if President Trump can text them directly and if he even wrote the alert himself. In short, the answer to both inquiries is “no.”
As mentioned previously, FEMA constructed the test as a way to see if any improvements to the system are necessary.
Following Hurricane Katrina, a law was enacted in 2006 that says a message can only be sent to alert about national emergencies or if the public were in peril, according to Bloomberg.
The law establishing the alert says it cannot be sent out for any reason other than “a natural disaster, act of terrorism or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety,” according to NowThis.
People are so against the unwanted presidential alert that a lawsuit was filed Sept. 26 to try to prevent it. The plaintiffs claim the alert is a “violation of Americans’ 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.”
Regardless of the annoyance of some, the internet did what it does best and already turned the alert into a meme.
— Jim Jefferies Show (@jefferiesshow) October 3, 2018
“Is this the Krusty Krab?” pic.twitter.com/xwrQzfUat3
— X (@XLNB) October 3, 2018
— Imagine Memes (@imaginememes) October 3, 2018
— rachel (@rachel_bagley) October 3, 2018
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) October 3, 2018
Even Hayley Williams chimed in.
anybody else get that?
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) October 3, 2018
What do you think of the presidential alert? Sound off in the comments!