What if the federal government could instantly send a text to any phone in the event of an emergency? Now that has become a reality.
At exactly 2:18 p.m. Wednesday, everyone received a Presidential Alert Test sent directly to their mobile device.
The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is coordinating with FEMA, the FCC, the West Virginia Broadcaster’s Association, and wireless carriers to conduct a test for the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert.
The purpose of the test is to ensure that first responders have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Chief Chad Bailey with the Princeton Fire Department said, “This would be helpful in any type of major natural disaster. It would be nice to know what’s going on elsewhere and to give people a heads up on what’s happening. A lot of times people don’t know to stay away from areas so it would be nice to be able to warn people and get them out early.”
The message says “Presidential Alert,” and uses the same special tone and vibration as the public safety alerts.