SONNIER: Donald Trump National Alert

Devonta Sonnier

 Did you get that text too?!

Every single person in the United States of America received the same exact phone alert from none other than, #45 himself, Donald Trump. The alert was a test for a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) system that will allow any U.S. President to contact the public directly, via an alert, during a national emergency.

Despite knowing that the alert was an emergency test through FEMA, some people were still not too happy about receiving a notification from Trump. It sparked up controversy all over the world.

The alert came at around 2:18 p.m. ET on Oct. 3, while class was in session at Grambling State University. Some students voiced their opinions about receiving the alert.

Graduate student Shayla Davidson Bragg said, “I really thought he was going to say we are all going to war, I was not here for it at all!”

Bragg expressed how she expects for the alerts to get more peculiar within the next few years.

Throughout America, legal suits have since been filed which seek to block the system. The complaints are people “who do not wish to receive alerts of any kind on any topic or subject from President Trump.” They felt the president’s team is trying to turn people’s phone into some type of “government loud speaker that makes you listen.”

FEMA responded to the allegations, claiming that they are baseless. Rashad Davalie, a graduating senior majoring in computer information systems (CIS), said, “I really did not feel comfortable with getting an alert from him, and FEMA could have avoided a lot of backlash if they would have taken ownership of the message.”

FEMA put out a statement expressing how the president will not be able to just alert any random cellular device. “You would not have a situation where the president would just wake up one morning and attempt to send a personal message,” said a senior FEMA official.  

Other students felt that it was unnecessary for FEMA to say the message was from Trump, instead of their headquarters. “I did not like the idea of Trump on my phone, but I do agree with the idea of the president being able to send out alerts for major crises,” said kinesiology major Jessica Small.
Many celebrities mocked Trump, implying that the test messages will eventually become outrageous.

Personally, I did some research about receiving the alert before I got it. I was happy to know that it was not going to be something life threatening because things have been pretty unrealistic since we have had a new president. I am still curious to see whether the text will start to get extreme knowing about the tweets he tends to put out.

The national test message was sent to about 224 million devices in reach of cellular tower. It came through the sameway an amber alert or weather warning would. The test message was originally scheduled for Sept. 20, but was delayed due to Hurricane Florence.

This alert system, though irritating because it is from Donald Trump, is important to inform large audiences of the increasing threat of natural disasters.