VERIFY: Everything you need to know about today's 'presidential alert'

But those emergency weather alerts and AMBER alerts can only be sent on a regional or statewide basis, not nationally and all at once.

The intent of the alert was to test the ability to warn Americans about a disaster, such as severe weather, or an event of national effect.

At 2:18 PM ET today, everyone with a mobile phone in the USA will get a message blast from the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). The WEA portion of the test, which will be sent to consumer cell phones, will begin at 2:18 p.m. EDT.

"Can't wait for the first ever presidential alert saying that SNL sucks", Gervais wrote. Legally, wireless companies that are voluntarily participating in the WEA system are required by law to make presidential alerts unblockable to phones and other mobile devices that use cell data, like iPads.

"In the event of a national emergency, a Presidential WEA alert would be issued at the direction of the President and/or his/her designee, and activated by FEMA", the agency says.

You're not. Although the alert includes the word "presidential", it does not come directly from President Donald Trump. If you get the message, that means everything is as it should be!

The message was accompanied by a high-pitched tone similar to that received during an Amber Alert of flood warning.

When will we get another message blast in the future?

FEMA officials estimate it will reach about 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including phones on all of the major carriers. Expect the same double beep and vibration as you would receiving the other alerts.

The Presidential Alert is backed by FEMA in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission.

The beep of the test alert echoed through Times Square, causing some pedestrians to look up in confusion before turning back to their phones and continuing with their day.

The message will say: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System".

People are so against the unwanted presidential alert that a lawsuit was filed September 26 to try to prevent it. Your phone might have alerted you that the test message arrived in a slightly different manner than normal text notifications.

  • Fernando Stephens