No Cellphone Left Behind: U.S. to Test ‘Presidential Alert’ System

Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday

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"This will come as a FEMA alert, that will come as a 'Presidential Alert, ' that will say 'this is just a test and no action is needed, '" Amy Maxwell, with Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management, explained.

The Oct. 3 WEA test will be sent through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

It is a part of FEMA's system to warn citizens in cases of national emergencies.

This will be the first national test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system, according to FEMA. "Do you have a cell phone?" Amber Alerts and weather alerts are for specific regions, however.

Afterward, the agency will perform an EAS test at 2:20 p.m., which will last for about a minute.

Tomorrow - Wednesday October 3 - your phone will receive a text message; assuming you're in the USA, that is, and use Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T or Sprint as your carrier. 'No action is needed'.

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If this had been an actual emergency alert, an official message would have followed the alert tone you heard at the start of this message.

The system test is for a high-level "presidential" alert that would be used only in a nationwide emergency. Therefore, if you have a smartphone capable of receiving WEA alerts, your phone will receive the alert.

Cell phone users have the ability to opt out of certain types of emergency alerts, such as weather notifications and Amber Alerts.

A second alert on television broadcasts and radio will go off at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

According to FEMA, the Wireless Emergency Alert test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts. At that time, all registered Humboldt Alert users will receive a test message.

The test was originally scheduled for September 20, but was pushed back to October 3 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence, according to FEMA.

Though this is the fourth nationwide test of the EAS, Wednesday marks the first time the federal government has ever tested out the WEA on a national level.

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