FEMA to Test ‘Presidential Alert System’ Wednesday
“This is a test.”
At 2:18 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, nearly every cell phone user in the United States will receive a text message at the same time.
The message will be the first ever test of Wireless Emergency Alerts, or “Presidential Alert” system.
The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones, according to FEMA.
The test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
During the test, compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message.
The “Presidential Alert” will use the same special tone and vibration as Tornado Warnings and AMBER Alerts.
The test is intended to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.