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T-Mobile tests Presidential Emergency Alerts ahead of Nov. 9

updated 09:40 am EDT, Fri November 4, 2011

FEMA, T-Mobile show presidential alert system

T-Mobile triggered a minor concern on Friday morning after it tested the Presidential Emergency Alert system early. Those on the network have reported getting a sudden message. Lance Ulanoff, using an HTC Radar 4G with Windows Phone, saw it badged as a "Presidential Alert" with a test flag, but it also included a "weird siren-like sound," he said, hinting that it was the hard-coded special feature.

The test comes five days before a national test of the alerts, which ties into the FEMA-backed Emergency Alert System. The agency plans to send out a test across most formats on November 9 at 2PM Eastern. Although FEMA hasn't mentioned cellphones by name, the test is expected to include them for the first time.

FCC officials have hoped to have a location-aware link to EAS, the Personal Localized Alert Network, active in New York City and Washington, DC before the end of 2011. The whole network should be ready by April 2012, it said. Not every phone will necessarily flag the alerts, but certain iPhone firmware and now Windows Phone 7.5 are at least expected to carry the alerts.

PLAN in particular was designed to give the government a way of warning the public about imminent emergencies, such as a terrorist attack or a short-notice natural disaster, while having the option of targeting just an individual area. It's also expected to be a way of giving help in the immediate wake of an event as long as the cellular network is still standing.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Blairmc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Goverment fear mongering in your pocket.

  1. facebook_Craig

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    Double plus


  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Presidential" is the problem

    It's the "Presidential" in this alert that is disturbing. I'd rather some minor official trigger an alert for what's likely to be valid reasons. Politicians will use it for political purposes.

    The usefulness is also rather dubious. I'd rather seen police and fire fighters giving specific directions than having all of downtown turned into a panicked mob by one of these alerts. What you do, for instance, in a deadly gas release is very location specific. Running may mean running into danger.

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You'll be eternally thankful...

    when their's a crazed gunman shooting everybody on site at your daughter's dorm and she's able to slip out the back because she got one of these warnings. This is nothing more than a modern update to the old air raid sirens.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. ecliptic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Your daughter should have a gun

    Then she could simply defend herself. The Big Nanny police state never made anyone safer or more secure, and it never will. The FEMA camps are for you, American citizen. Notice the date of this test / rollout: 11/9 coincidence?

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Your daughter should have a gun

    "Notice the date of this test / rollout: 11/9 coincidence?"


    Paranoid much?

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