WASHINGTON — Many Americans received a text alert from President Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon, but it was only a test.

  • Government tested the Wireless Emergency Alerts system
  • A text alert was sent to cell phones around the country
  • Test went out on Oct. 3 at 2:18 p.m.

People were to get a test text from the Wireless Emergency Alerts system for the first time on Wednesday. The system sends out a nationwide text to the public in the event of an emergency.

The president is the only one who can determine if an alert needs to be sent out.

The test was originally supposed to happen on Sept. 20, but it was postponed.

FEMA says any compatible cell phone tied to a participating wireless provider that is switched on and in the range of cell tower should have received the alert once.

The system is normally used to send out an Amber Alert or a severe weather event on your phone. It is also meant to be used in a national emergency, only by the president. You should hear the same special tone and your phone should vibrate.

Presidential alerts will only be sent out if there is a national emergency that is not extreme weather or Amber Alerts.

People could not opt out of the WEA test.

Most may have probably already heard of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends a national public warning via radio and television in the event of an emergency and conducts periodic tests.

An EAS message was be sent out at the same time.

To learn more about the Wireless Emergency Alerts system, head to the FEMA website. You can also go to the FEMA website here to learn more about the national test.