You’d think that something as simple as a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would be welcomed by Americans concerned about homeland security and national emergencies. But, no. In the land of out-of-control, unhinged Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) anything that might have President Trump behind it must be immediately shunned by those suffering from the syndrome.
FEMA announced at the end of last week that a nationwide test of the EAS will be conducted this week. On Thursday, September 20, 2018, at 2:18 P.M EDT, the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test will be conducted followed by the EAS test at 2:20 EDT. “The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.”
“The EAS [Emergency Alert System] is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency,” FEMA said.
The test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert,” according to the agency.
Users whose phones are on will twice hear a tone and vibration and then see an English-only (for now) message: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The hot takes of the knee-jerk reaction chorus on Twitter have been a sight to behold. It is as though Donald Trump himself is texting people on cell phones across America. Here’s a prime example from a usual suspect.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 15, 2018
Bless her heart. In the case of an emergency that would trigger a nationwide alert from FEMA, the agency in charge of this operation, this petulant woman doesn’t want to receive the message because she thinks it’s President Trump on the other end of the text. You can’t make this stuff up.
This system is a nationwide communication system – a way for the president (any president) to communicate with Americans across the country during a national emergency. The sane among us will consider this a good thing. If, for example, I am not home with a radio or television on and a major terrorist attack begins, I sure as hell want to be notified. The easiest way to do that is with my cell phone, which is always with me.
The WEA test will sound like an Amber Alert or severe weather notification on cell phones. And, no, you cannot opt out. In case something happens, like a major weather event, the test will be postponed to October 3, 2018. The test will go on despite Hurricane Florence.
And, if #TheResistance crowd is so concerned now, where was the outcry when the WEA was authorized in 2015? That’s right, it happened during the Obama administration. This isn’t something new that’s been put into place by President Trump. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 was amended to instruct the Director of FEMA to “modernize the integrated public alert and warning system of the United States.”
The wireless emergency alerts (WEA) system was authorized by Congress in 2015 under a law that states the “system shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.”
So, to recap, this is a nationwide test that includes everyone whether you are a Trump supporter or not because it is not literally President Trump on the other end of the text message. This is an exercise for the FEMA officials to test the wireless infrastructure and make any adjustments in the system that may be deemed necessary. Testing is mandated by law, too, so there’s that.