CHARLESTON W.Va. — Some people were waiting for it, some weren’t expecting it and some didn’t even know what it was.
That was the scene at the Charleston Town Center Mall on Wednesday during the ‘Presidential Alert’ test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System on most cellular phones.
“It’s good to know about a national crisis,” Charleston resident Daniel Null said. “We need to know what’s going on in the world so I don’t think it will be that bad.”
The test took place at 2:18 p.m. EST nationwide with a loud alert tone followed with the header ‘Presidential Alert’ and message “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
“It keeps you alert to things going on,” Charleston resident Sam Pence said. “Missing kids, flash floods, some kind of emergency, I think it’s a good alert system. If it’s important enough, people need to know.”
The alert sent out by FEMA, was designed to hit all 225 million cellular phones in the United State but some in the Charleston Town Center Mall said they did not receive one. Cellular users are unable to turn off receiving the presidential WEA alerts, unlike some other alerts.
“It’s okay if we can’t turn them off,” Null said. “It’ll be alright. I get the alerts all the time and have no problem.”
The test of this system was suppose to take place on September 20th but was delayed because of Hurricane Florence.
The Emergency Alert System was last tested over a year ago, in September 2017.
“I did not know it was coming,” a St. Albans woman said. “But I do think it is a good idea because it ties your phone up and you may need to be able to contact family members in case of an emergency.”