FEMA’s new nationwide presidential alert system is intended to warn Americans — via a text from President Donald Trump — about serious weather situations or other emergencies. But that didn’t stop some citizens from cracking jokes about the alert after it was tested for the first time on Wednesday.
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host joked that Americans actually could opt out of the system, despite the (very true) reports to the contrary. Colbert advised, “Just make sure your software is up to date, open up your control settings, go to control center, customize controls and then” hit your phone with a hammer until it is destroyed.
Twitter users on the left and right were also quick to turn the test into memes and jokes.
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“Did anyone else get this?” Jimmy Kimmel asked, tweaking the alert to read: “WITCH HUNT, CROOKED HILLARY, NO COLLUSION, CONFIRM KAVANAUGH, #MAGA.”
The Daily Show also made some humorous revisions to have the alert say: “*MISSING PERSON.* I HAVEN’T SEEN MELANIA IN MONTHS.”
And TV writer Chase Mitchell joked, “That presidential text is like getting an Amber Alert from the guy who did it.”
The alert was first tested on Wednesday, with a message that read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Americans could not opt out of receiving the messages because of a 2006 law requiring the Federal Communications Commission to work with the wireless industry, according to The New York Times.