October 3, 2018
This afternoon, at 2:18 p.m., the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be testing a nationwide alert system. This is an operational test the Federal government is conducting as a means of mass notification in a National Emergency.
Cell towers will broadcast the test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message and cell phones should only receive the message once. The test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."
The system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as other messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of the test.
If you would like more information about this I have included a link to the FEMA site.