Electronic devices across the United States sounded off Wednesday as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted its first-ever national wireless emergency alert test.
The tone went off at 2:18 p.m. EDT. The subject of the alert read: “Presidential Alert” and text said: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
FEMA officials estimated that about 225 million devices would receive the alert at about the same time, but the message was broadcast by cell towers for 30 minutes so some people got it later than others. Some got as many as four alerts on their phones; others didn’t get any.
In a real emergency, devices would get the alert at the same time or as close to the same time as possible.
A second alert on television broadcast and radio went off at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The TV and radio alert has been tested for several years.
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