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Posted: October 03, 2018

Here is why you may not have gotten the 'Presidential Alert' test

VIDEO: Why You May Not Have Gotten The "Presidential Alert" Test

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Although there were a number of reminders ahead of the Federal Emergency Management Agency test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts and Emergency Alert System, not everyone got the so-called “Presidential Alert.”

Related: 7 things to know about the ‘Presidential Alert' test

The WEA system is used to warn the public about critical situations, including AMBER alerts and weather. 

>> Read more trending news 

After the scheduled alert time of 2:18 p.m. EDT, a number of people took to Twitter to say they missed out on the alert.

Here’s why you may not have gotten the FEMA national emergency test alerts.

Your phone may not be WEA compatible.

According to FEMA, older phones may not be WEA capable and some models requite you to enable WEAs.

Your wireless provider may not participate in the WEA.

It is voluntary for wireless companies to participate in WEA because of a public/private partnership with the Federal Communications Commission, FEMA and the wireless industry, according to the FCC.

Alex Brandon/AP
A presidential emergency alert test is seen on a phone on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Your cell phone may not have been within range of an active cell tower. 

Without being near an active cell phone tower, cell phones cannot receive communications -- even if it’s from the government. This is similar to not being able to send or receive text messages if your phone doesn’t have a signal.

Government alerts may be off on your cell phone.

For iPhone users, government alerts are on by default, but some users may have previously turned the option off after getting an alert for weather or an AMBER Alert. Alerts can be turned off on the iPhone by going to settings, then notification and scrolling to the bottom of the screen to government alerts. Under government alerts, the type of alert can be turned on or off.

Turning off alerts on Android devices varies by device, but generally, CNet reported, settings can be located by searching “Amber” or “emergency” in the settings app. Users can also look under Notifications in the settings app and disable the alerts under the advanced section.

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