FEMA to test emergency 'Presidential Alert' system this week

WASHINGTON (WFLA)- - Most cell phone users should expect a message from President Donald Trump soon.

Later this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will test a new emergency warning system. The goal is to alert US citizens to emergencies like severe weather, missing children and other dangerous or critical situations.

According to FEMA's website, the 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."

The test messages are scheduled to be sent out on Thursday, Sept. 20. All compatible cell phones connected to participating wireless providers will receive the message. The phone also must be turned on and within range of an active cell tower.

Major carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will all participate.

FEMA says the test message will have a "Presidential Alert" header and text that reads, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." Phones should only receive the message once.

The agency will also test the emergency alert system on radio and television Thursday.

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