If you get a text reading "Presidential Alert" today, don't panic. It's only a test.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will test Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 1:18 PM and 1:20 PM Wednesday.

The test is meant to asses the readiness and efficiency of nationwide alerts that would be broadcast on all participating cell towers if there was a real emergency. Similar tests were run in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017.

The text you receive should read:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

You may also see the following message:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

This year's test was supposed to be conducted on September 20, but was postponed due to FEMA's Hurricane Florence relief efforts.


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