More than 200 million US mobile phones are set to receive a test “Presidential Alert” later on Wednesday.
The trial is designed to check that a previously unused emergency communications system works properly.
Unlike other alerts – such as natural disaster warnings – there is no way to opt out, except switching a device off or blocking its cellular connection.
Some are describing the test as a “Trump Alert” – but the US president is not personally involved in the trial.
Instead, the nationwide event is being run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), which would also be in direct control of the system if a real alert was ordered by the US President, Donald Trump.