Emergency Alert Test Interrupts White House Press Briefing

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A series of alarms interrupted the White House’s daily press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, October 4, as the government carried out a test of its National Wireless Emergency Alert System, which delivers messages directly to smartphones.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was responding to a question regarding the war in Ukraine when the emergency klaxon began blaring from phones in the room.

“Oh, there we go,” Jean-Pierre said as she was interrupted.

The text message delivered to phones read: “National Alert: THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. The purpose is to maintain and improve alert and warning capabilities at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels and to evaluate the nation’s public alert and warning capabilities. No action is required by the public.”

The test was carried out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to a FEMA press release. Credit: The White House via Storyful