Published 5:01 PM EDT Sep 16, 2018
President Donald Trump may soon communicate with you via your cellphone.
On Thursday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct a test of the national system that allows "presidential alerts" to hit the majority of cellphones. The goal is to warn residents of national emergencies, such as dangerous weather.
The warning system "provides the president with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency," FEMA said on its website.
The test is scheduled to occur at 2:18 p.m. EDT Thursday.
Some cellphone users will receive a message with a header that reads "Presidential Alert." The text then will say: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
But not everyone is on board with the notion of presidential notifications.
"I don't want this," actress Alyssa Milano tweeted Saturday. "How do we opt out, @fema?" Seems like Milano is out of luck.
Under federal law, users can opt out of the alerts for "imminent threats" and Amber Alerts about abducted children but "not for presidential messages," FEMA warns.
Thursday will mark the first national test of the "wireless emergency alerts." Congress authorized the public safety alert system in 2008. It began operating in 2012 and has been used regionally.
The agency, already grappling with the effects of Tropical Storm Florence, could delay the test of the alert system to Oct. 3 if there's a major weather disruption, but FEMA said Saturday that Thursday's test was still on.