The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will test a new system next week that allows President Trump to send messages directly to U.S. cellphones in the event of a national emergency.
More than 100 mobile carriers, including all major wireless companies, will be participating in the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program that allows for presidential alerts, FEMA wrote in a statement on Thursday.
“The EAS [Emergency Alert System] is a national public warning system that provides the president with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency,” FEMA said in a statement.
Compatible cell phones will receive a text message that reads “Presidential Alert” and “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The test is set to take place on September 20 at 2:18 pm Eastern Time.
FEMA says the WEA system is already used to warn the public about missing children, dangerous weather and other vital information.
Cellphone users cannot opt out of receiving alerts in accordance with the 2006 Warning, Alert and Response Network Act passed by Congress.