There's no way to turn the alert off; any cellphone that is turned on and within range of an active cell tower will receive the notification.
The test message from the previously unused alert system was originally scheduled for September but was pushed back to 2:18 p.m. EDT (1818 GMT) on Wednesday.
It will be the first national WEA test, and the fourth nationwide test of EAS, the statement said. Such presidential alerts would be sent in the event of a pending missile attack or other national emergency, and U.S. cellphone users are not able opt out of them.
Many people in the Valley received an alert message from the President Wednesday afternoon, while many others did not.
All freaking out aside, the wireless alert system actually launched in 2012 when Barack Obama was president, so it's been around for a while.
Failla said the claims were too speculative to block the test.
It wasn't immediately clear which cell providers are participating Wednesday, but Sprint customer service officials tweeted out a link to the FEMA primer. The plaintiffs said the alert system fails to give people the chance to opt out.
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It will be broadcast from mobile phone masts for about 30 minutes from 14:18 ET (19:18 BST) - but devices should display only a single message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide.
"The Communications Act of 1934 established the authority for the President to use certain private sector communications systems for priority communications, such as sending alert and warning messages to the public, during national emergencies", FEMA wrote.
"Users may opt out of receiving alerts in the imminent threat and AMBER categories but can not opt out of receiving Presidential alerts", the agency said.
The test is determining the effectiveness of the IPAWS system, or the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. But there's a select class of alerts referred to as "government alerts" which they can't opt out of. It will sound similar to the routine tests that flash across your television screen once a month. It featured a loud alarm, followed by vibration that lasted around one minute, and required no action.
Though you have probably received emergency alerts in the past, those were local or regional messages regarding weather events such as flash-flood or tornado warnings, or alerts about missing people. "There are lots of things to worry about right now, but this test is not one of them". It's not supposed to be used for political purposes, and it will only be used very rarely.