Last year every smartphone from Austin, TX, to Abilene, TX, was overtaken by the federal government, and despite the conspiracy theories that began floating around, I've still not seen any zombies walking around Texas. You know except for the figurative ones we all become while staring at our phones.

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The first government smart phone takeover happened on October 4th, 2023. And just like when Apple downloaded U2's album to our devices, we had no control over it. Did you know U2's been a band since 1976, I just learned that. Wild.

Ok, back to the story at hand:

The first test didn't sit well with some people, but according to last years press release from FEMA it was important. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) serves as our national public warning system and is regularly used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information.

In the past government has used traditional broadcast systems including radio and television, and they still will. But in '24 there's no faster way to reach people than through their smart phones. And while reports are that FEMA is still analyzing results from last year, it does seem like last years test will not be the last.

According to FEMA, the tests are intended to "ensure that systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level."

“Data collection and analysis of all the elements involved in the nationwide alert and warning systems is extensive, but nearing completion,” the agency said. “FEMA confirmed on test day that all cell carriers that participate in WEA received the alert and the EAS test alert was successfully processed and made available to broadcasters.”

And while there is no date locked in for this year just yet, it does seem likely we'll have another one at some point. And like they did last year we should all be made aware of it ahead of time.

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