About 1:18 pm today (October 3rd) you’re going to get a notification on your smartphone. If you had not been so fortunate to read this story you might be very concerned. Every wireless phone in the United States will receive an alert that is part of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System.

It’s basically the mobile phone version of the alerts you often hear on your favorite radio station whenever there is severe weather or a shelter in place required. The alert is just a test and it’s designed to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure in place. Based on the results of this test the system will be tweaked and changed to eliminate any margin for error.

While Emergency Alert System or EAS messages are common across radio and television airwaves, this is the first full-scale test for the mobile and wireless phone network. This system would only be activated in the event of a national emergency such as a terror attack.  Since the alerts can only be sent on a nationwide scale you can bet the issue would have to be very important and have national security or safety implications.

Also, this wireless phone test will be followed up by a second test of the national Emergency Alert System. That test will come across your radio speakers and your television screens after the wireless phone test.

We’re not sure how well the alert system will test out but we are pretty sure your last nerve will be tested by all of these tests. Just remember, better to test now and verify than wait until an emergency to find out the system is broken.