Nationwide test of presidential emergency alert system scheduled for Wednesday

Nationwide test of presidential emergency alert system scheduled for Wednesday

Tomorrow - Wednesday October 3 - your phone will receive a text message; assuming you're in the United States, that is, and use Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T or Sprint as your carrier.

According to a Tweet from FEMA, the test alert is not a text and your phone number will not be shared with anyone. These types of alerts would be sent in the event of major national emergency, such as a mass terrorism event.

Because this is a Presidential Alert, cellphone users can not opt out of receiving Wednesday's test, per FEMA. "No action is needed", officials said.

About two minutes after the wireless emergency alert, the broadcast system will send a similar message through radio and television stations. Users can not opt out of receiving the WEA test.

Everyone around the country will get an alert on their phone at the same time on Wednesday as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts a test of the national Wireless Emergency Alert system.

As part of the alert, cellphones that are on and within range of a cell tower will receive a message and a "loud tone and vibration" but not all phones will receive the message. The alert was initially scheduled to occur Thursday, September 20, but FEMA spokesman Mark Peterson tells CNN the test has been postponed, and October 3 was the alternate date for the test. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not.

This new presidential alert will be nationwide and only used for advance warning of national crises. 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 EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency.

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