"This will come as a FEMA alert, that will come as a 'Presidential Alert, ' that will say 'this is just a test and no action is needed, '" Amy Maxwell, with Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management, explained.
A nationwide wake-up call of sorts is scheduled to take place Wednesday afternoon, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts its "presidential alert" test. Specifically, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT, cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes.
But now there will also be an alert on your cellphone.
Can I silence my phone or turn off the alert?
The ESA is a national public warning system that provides President Donald Trump with the communication capability to address the nation during a national emergency.
The EAS alert has been tested three times in previous years, in November 2011, September 2016 and September 2017. The alert can not be a personal message on behalf of the president.More news: European Union urges all sides to 'respect' Macedonia name change vote
Wireless phones should receive the message only once.
A second alert on television broadcast and radio will go off at 8:20 a.m. Hawaii time.
"If we have something that's of national significance, we can rapidly notify the American public of that event", FEMA spokesman Antwane Johnson said.
Most newer wireless phones are WEA compatible, but you can check your phone's packaging or instructions to see if it is WEA-capable.
The WEA alert will reach any cellphone that is connected to a wireless provider participating in the test, switched on and within active range of a cell tower. "No action is needed", it'll read.
If it's not from President Trump, who is sending it? It will be accompanied by a national alert tone. In a real emergency, a FEMA official using a device "very similar to a laptop computer" will receive information from multiple federal agencies and the White House, and select one of several pre-written messages and update it to fit the circumstances.
This is a test of the nationwide alert system to warn the public about unsafe weather, missing children and other critical situations, and you may notice that your phone makes a different notification sound to normal.