For the first time ever on Wednesday, people across the country will get an alert on their cell phones from President Donald Trump.
The presidential alert test is scheduled for 2:18 p.m. eastern time, CBS reported. It’s the first test of a national presidential alert system that lets any president issue a warning about a crisis, like a missile launched by another country or a natural disaster.
CBS reported government agencies nationwide have issued more than 40,000 emergency alerts to cell phones since 2012. Amber Alerts and weather alerts are for specific regions, however. The presidential alert is nationwide and will only be used to warn of an impending national crisis.
“It should be reserved for true situations, true emergencies when we need to get the public’s attention,” former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said to CBS.
Johnson said the new alert is designed to be used very specifically and rarely. It’s something “that should not be used for a political agenda,” he said.
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