President Obama can send a simultaneous message to everyone that has a cell phone in the United States any time that he thinks it is necessary to do so.
A video uploaded to the Wall Street Journal shows how the national messaging system works. You would have to own a very old cell phone in order for it not to contain a special chip which makes it able to receive official POTUS messages from the President, and manufacturers have been obliged to include the chip for years, writes Kate Knibbs of Gizmodo.
Emergency Alert Network
Cell phones must contain one of these chips in order to receive messages sent as part of the Emergency Alert Network. The Network was enacted in 2012, and provides for the ability the President to contact anyone, anywhere in the United States, whenever necessary.
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The U.S. President can send alerts which will be received by phones when they enter a specific geographic area, for example to warn those in a particular state of a terrorist threat. Technically speaking the POTUS messages are different to text messages, having been specially developed for emergencies.
If you ever receive one then you can expect to notice a unique vibration and sound alert. Receiving the alerts is compulsory, so you cannot opt out of them as you can with Amber Alerts and weather emergency alerts.
Obama can warn the nation of impending doom
Hopefully U.S. residents will not receive a presidential POTUS message any time soon, considering that they were developed in order to warn the nation of grave impending danger. One interesting point for those of you prone to lengthy phone calls, the messages will not be received by your cell phone until you hang up, which means the apocalypse could be well underway by the time you’ve finished your conversation.
Whether it is President Obama or one of his successors, I guess Americans should feel slightly more secure due to the fact that they will at least know that something bad is happening. thanks to a helpful POTUS message.