A majority of cell phone users will receive an alert on Wednesday, October 3, with the header "Presidential Alert" and the message, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed". It will be sent at 2:18 p.m. EDT.
The new presidential alert will be used for advance warning of national crises, and not for regional or local alerts.
As part of wireless emergency alerts, users will receive Presidential Alerts, AMBER Alerts, and alerts in cases of extreme weather or "other threatening emergencies".
"THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System".
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According to a Tweet from FEMA, the test alert is not a text and your phone number will not be shared with anyone.
A special alert will run across the screen of your smartphone on Wednesday.
What will be sent out Wednesday afternoon is just a test.
"Participating television and radio broadcasters will sound an audible tone and will display a message that is similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar", according to the statement. Officials say the initial test was supposed to take place last month, but was postponed due to ongoing response efforts for Hurricane Florence. The alert will not interrupt a phone call or an active data session, though FEMA and the FTC are working to make sure the information reaches more people. The alert would be used in the event of a major nationwide emergency. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. Neither Trump nor any other US president will be able to use the WEA system for any objective other than alerting citizens about a national emergency, according to FEMA.