Reminder: If everything goes according to plan, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will spam your phone at precisely 11:18 a.m. today. Apparently your phone will make an odd noise and a box will pop up saying something like this:


THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.

As it says, this is only a test! If you get the message, that means everything is as it should be!

The test is a demonstration of the Wireless Emergency Alert system, which is kind of the 21st century iteration of the old “Emergency Broadcast System” that you still get on the the radio — the crunch and bleep interrupting Joe Perry’s sick solo, the flat staticky voice telling you what you should do in case of a real emergency.

The WEA ports this to your phone, and apparently will soon use geolocation to tailor panic prompts of all sorts to your own personal interests. According to the FEMA FAQ:

The WEA 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 with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.

So get used to that! Anyway, no emergency today.

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UPDATE, 11: 20 a.m.: It worked. Text was aligned left, though.