Under the 2006 law establishing the wireless-alert system, Congress allowed participating carriers to let subscribers block any emergency alerts - except for those issued by the sitting US president.
Even though it's a test of the Presidential Alert, the message will be sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is working with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). "Does this mean I'm going to get whatever message President Trump wants to send out through this alert system now?'" Werner said.
FEMA will also run a test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) for radio and television broadcasters the same day, beginning two minutes after the WEA test. "No action is needed", it'll read.
This test will be sent to cell phones and be broadcasted on televisions and radios, said the official FEMA website.
A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that in the first half of 2017, more than 52 percent of all households in the United States had only wireless cellphones, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, or CDC.
This system is used to notify the public about "dangerous weather, missing children, and other regionally critical situations through alerts on cellular phones", the release said.
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System and Emergency Alert System (EAS)?
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.
President Donald Trump's "Presidential Alert" test is coming to your cellphone.
So older phones with updated software may still get the alerts.
WEA now only supports messages in English, officials say. There is no charge to receive the message.
Cell phone users have the ability to opt out of certain types of emergency alerts, such as weather notifications and Amber Alerts.
According to FEMA, the Communications Act of 1934 gives the President the authority to use private sector communication systems, such as wireless service, to reach the public in national emergencies.