Presidential-level Alert Will be Sent to Your Cell Phone, Radio This Afternoon
Today, Wednesday October 3rd, at 2:18 PM, a presidential-level alert will be sent out to all cell phones. This alert is a test of the Emergency Alert System. The test was originally supposed to be sent out back in September.
According to CNN.com, the alert will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
This alert system is similar to ones you may have received for severe weather or Amber Alerts. The presidential alert will be sent out by FEMA and used for widespread disasters and terrorist attacks. The test will also appear and be heard on radio and TV.
A law passed back in 2016, which allowed FEMA to send alerts via cell phone, requires them to test the system every 3 years. The president does not send out these alerts, they originate from FEMA directly. In the article by CNN, "The President will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device. You would not have a situation where any sitting president would wake up one morning and attempt to send a particular message."
While you can opt out of receiving Amber Alerts and weather related alerts on your phone, the presidential alert can not be turned off or silenced.