On Wednesday, at 12:18 p.m. Pacific, cellphones across the United States began to ring in response to a presidential alert. The alert read “Presidential Alert,” continuing with “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
It was the first ever nationwide test of a wireless emergency alert system, reserved for the office of the president. This system is designed to warn people about dire threats; such as terrorist attacks, pandemics, or natural disasters.
The President, or someone he designates, would make the decision to send out one of these alerts, in the event of a nationwide catastrophe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency would then push the button, to send that alert to millions of people across the United States.
Because there is no opting out of these notifications, social media was critical of the alert. It even caused some citizens to a prompt a lawsuit.
The alert was projected to send to 75% of the roughly 225 million cell phone users in the nation. Were you one of those people? What are your thoughts on this mass notification service?