Don't be surprised if you get a text message from the White House on Wednesday.
The government is testing a new nationwide alert system that would let presidents send out emergency messages to phones all over the country.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission will test Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
The WEA test alert will be sent to cell phones connected to participating wireless providers at 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, FEMA officials said. The message will say:"Presidential Alert: THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.
"While not everyone will receive the message, phones that do should only receive it once, with a special tone and vibration that people will recognize, FEMA said.
The WEA system is currently used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations. The president would be able to use this system to send alerts if there is a "public peril" that would require nationwide notification, like if there were a risk of an imminent attack or multiple terrorist attacks, according to FEMA.
When used, the presidential alert would be followed by state or local instructions. While people can opt out of Amber Alerts and other alert messages, the public will not be able to opt out of presidential alerts.
The EAS portion of the test will be sent to participating broadcast entities at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The message will say:"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.
"The test is being performed to see if there are any improvements that need to be made to the way these presidential alerts would be distributed in the future. It was originally scheduled for Sept. 20, but was pushed to Oct. 3 due to Hurricane Florence.
AS REPORTED BY ABC 7 CHICAGO NEWS