Presidential emergency alert system text coming next week

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Your mobile phone will emit a special tone and vibrate as it receives an emergency test message on September 20.

Two minutes after the WEA tests, FEMA will also test nationwide warnings of the Emergency Alert System, which is similar to the older Emergency Broadcast System and sends alerts via radio and television. Wireless Emergency Alerts do not require users to "opt-in", and most mobile phones in use today can receive the 90-character text-like messages.

You don't need to take any action for the test.

Mobile alerts sent through the WEA system are now categorized as imminent threats about emergencies in an area, including extreme weather, AMBER alerts for missing children or "Presidential alerts about emergencies of national outcome", FEMA said.

Everyone who's service provider participates will receive a message to their phone with the head 'Presidential Alert, ' FEMA said in a statement Thursday.

The test will last for about 30 minutes, beginning at 2:18pm ET on Thursday.

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In its news release, FEMA said it could postpone the national test to October 3 if the agency is dealing with a major weather event, but it have yet to make that determination. During this time, cell phones that are switched on and within range of an active cell tower should be capable of receiving the test message.

He plans to message every cell phone in America to test a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) system that will allow any US president to communicate directly via a text message with the public during a national emergency.

"If you separate this from the politics and personality of any individual president then this is a great idea and an wonderful use of technology to reach everybody if they're in harms way", said Karen North, director of the Annenberg Digital Social Media program at the University of Southern California.

FEMA officials told CNN on Saturday morning it is still planning to conduct the test this week.

FEMA is also tasked with ensuring that the President can alert the public under all conditions in cases of national emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist threats.

The agency is required by law to conduct a nationwide test of its public alert systems no less than once every three years.

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