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FEMA to send national 'Presidential Alert'

"THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 4:01 AM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 9:53 AM

CNN -- Expect a text from President Trump on wednesday morning.

If your phone is turned on and within range of cell service, at 11:18 a.m., you'll get a test of FEMA's nationwide presidential alert. It's similar to notifications about Amber Alerts and extreme weather. You can't opt out, nor do you have to opt in.

The largest service providers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will all participate in the program, along with about 100 others.

These presidential messages will only be issued in the event of a national emergency. FEMA said the parameters are clearly defined by federal law. The text will have a header reading "presidential alert."  The message will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

FEMA said it won't collect any user data as a result of the test and won't be able to track the location of those who receive the alert. They are, however, soliciting feedback from the public.

The test was initially set for Sept. 20, but it was postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

By law, FEMA has to test out its alert systems nationwide every three years. The text alerts will be followed by a test on TV and radio and like any emergency alert, users won't be charged for the test.

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