The system is already used to warn the public about "dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations".
All major wireless firms and more than 100 mobile carriers are participating in the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program that allows for presidential alerts, FEMA wrote in a Thursday statement. "No action is needed".
The new test will use the same tone to alert users of communication directly from the president in the case of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other events of significant national import.
The Trump administration will send a test message to all U.S. cellphones on Thursday to test a new alert system.
This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test, according to FEMA.
The WEA system is used to warn the public about risky weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.
UCLA communications professor Tim Groeling agreed, writing via email, "broadcast-based emergency alert systems. have remained professional and impartial over decades".
FEMA says any compatible cell phone tied to a participating wireless provider that is switched on and in the range of cell tower should get the alert once.
FEMA will begin testing its WEA system at 2:18 p.m. ET to assess its "operational readiness" and make improvements if need be, the agency said in a press release this week.
It will interrupt programming for about one minute, FEMA said.
In the event of widespread severe weather or another significant event on September 20, the test will be pushed back to October 3, FEMA said.
The new system was ordered by former President Barack Obama to alert citizens about extreme weather events and terrorism.
FEMA officials told CNN on Saturday morning that they are still planning to conduct the test this week. The well-worn emergency alert system reaches mainly radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers.
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