On October 3rd, 2018, Americans will receive a test emergency alert on their cell phones around 1:18 p.m. CDT.
You can expect it to sound like an Amber Alert or flood warning, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The subject will read "Presidential Alert" and the text will say "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
FEMA officials say the test will last about a half-hour, so some could receive the alert at different times. They expect about 75% of all wireless users to get the alert.
It's the first nationwide test for a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). In a real situation, a president could use the system to warn Americans of a crisis. FEMA says users cannot opt out of receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts.
The test was originally planned for September 20th, 2018 but has been postponed until October 3rd, 2018 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.
The EAS (Emergency Alert System) test will also happen over radio and television broadcasts on October 3rd around the same time.
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