Presidential Alert

UPDATE: 18 September 2018

FEMA changes the test date to 03 October 2018.


Original: 17 September 2018, 2:24 p.m.

On 20 September 2018, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will test a newly integrated messaging system that will include a new feature: Presidential Alerts.

Presidential Alerts will be delivered as a text message to American cell phone users. There is no “Opt Out” option.

That’s right. Like it or not, any sitting President will have the capability to text Americans with emergency messages.

Ordinarily, this would be considered an effective tool for immediately providing information (unless, of course, the communication towers, satellites, and what-not have been obliterated).

But when the presidency is occupied by an autocrat with a Twitter fetish, one questions whether bureaucrats can thwart such a man should he feel compelled to tell Americans his versions of “emergency” messages he wants them to read.

I don’t envy those bureaucrats their responsibility to prevent a president from abusing his new-found channel of communication.

But don’t worry. Our current president began practicing for the test today.