What Was That ‘RMT Alert’ On My Cell Phone?

by on February 18, 2012

in consumer

Motorala DROID X Smartphone

Today right after lunch, I had picked up my Motorola Droid-X phone, from Verizon, to catch a few paragraphs of a book I have in my Kindle.  (Yes, I read my Kindle books on my smartphone.)  But as I picked it up, I had 2 notices in my alert bar.  (Or message bar, or whatever it’s called these days.)

Turns out this big red square with a white X in it was calling itself an RMT Alert Monthly Test, or, something that looks funny and makes me wonder.

Turns out what you’ve just seen is the new National Alert system, much like your TV’s emergency broadcast system, but now for cell phones.  But not just all cell phones.  It’s apparently only going to badger smart phone owners and with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Oh, lucky them.

When the test comes up you have options to choose from, but I had panicked and deleted the messages because I didn’t know WTH they were.  But with a little research, it looks to be expected and harmless.

Unless you visit BB’s and take note of some of the chest-thumping…

“add that sender TO YOUR IGNORE LIST”

“There’s nothing to stop me from turning the phone off.”

“will switch to “wifi only” on my tablet.”

“I can pull the SIM.”

“it’s another piece of my liberty for security.”

Ah, I finally found some light at the end of the dismal tunnel…

“During the recent storm in the Northeast, my privacy was violated by a phone message telling me there was emergency shelter at the local police HQ, that community meals were being served to anyone who needed them, and giving estimates for power restoration to various parts of town. How dare they?”

I like their pragmatic snark.


I get the perspectives about one’s freedom.  I also get a need to have the public informed of certain events in their neighborhoods.  It’s like airline security.  No one wants to be put out by the scans, frisks and extra measures.  AND no one wants to be blown up when a terrorist gets on their airplane.

It’s a weird line we tread, wanting to be safe and free.  Hey, my poor wife was recently put through the travel ringer when they spied her hot fudge in her carry-on.  She had to check in her luggage and then put through all the scanners.  All for her precious hot fudge from Michigan.  LOL.

fcc.gov: personal-localized-alerting-network-plan


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