The first test of the presidential alert system, originally planned for today, has been postponed.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the wireless emergency alert system, or WEA, said the test will be moved back to Oct. 3.
The test was originally planned for today at 2:18 p.m. ET (1:18 p.m. CT). At that time, anyone with a cell phone would receive a special text message with the header "Presidential Alert" and the message ""THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
Handsets that receiv,e an alert will initiate a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.
More than 100 cell phone carriers are set to participate in the test, FEMA said, including major companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Cell customers do not have the ability to opt of the alerts, FEMA said.
While the test will be the first of its type, the alerts were established in 2006 under President George W. Bush to allow the White House to issue notices in the event of an emergency.
After the cell phone test, the Emergency Alert System will be activated over television, radio, and wireline video services. It's the fourth time the EAS system has been tested with previous trials in November 2011; September 2016; and September 2017.