Cell phone alerts planned for Wednesday afternoon

Published: Oct. 2, 2018 at 3:05 PM EDT
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About 225 million people across America will all be looking at their cell phones at the same time tomorrow.

It will be a nationwide test, the first of its kind.

"It's a Presidential alert, and it will say this is only a test, and it will come across your phone once, and there is no way of opting out of it," said Becky MacManus the Marketing Manager at Verizon Wireless Zone in Bangor. "The only way you can make it stop is to hit the dismiss button and that will take care of it."

It is slated to begin at 2:18pm and most phones and smart watches will all go off within a few minutes of one another.

"Not actually a regular text message," said MacManus. "It comes up as an actual alert similar to an Amber Alert like we had a couple years ago. It will be very similar to that, and your phone will go off and everyone else around you, their phone will go off, so it will be weird but just a test."

The test was originally planned for September 20th, but that was when Hurricane Florence was approaching the East Coast, so to avoid any confusion, the test was moved back.

"It's simply a one time test, and after it happens and you hit dismiss, you won't see it again." said MacManus. "They are sending it out to radio and TV at the same time, so you might see it there, but your phone will just get it once and that's it."

"For the first time ever, this is a nationwide test. Amber Alerts or previous weather alerts have been done regionally. This is a chance to reach all Americans and it will read "This IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

"Hopefully it will go over well. It's a nice safety net to have for everyone to know that in case something does happen, we'll be alerted immediately," said MacManus. "So it's a good thing."