If you reached for your cell phone at 1:18 Wednesday afternoon, you weren’t alone.  President Trump sent an emergency message to just about everyone at that time as part of a first-ever test of a national alert system.  

This was a test, this was only a test. The message from President Trump would be sent to your cell phone in case of a national emergency, like a major hurricane or a terrorist attack.

Customers at Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Café reached for their cell phones in unison over the lunch hour.

“It is weird to be in a cafe and find that everyone’s phones are going off simultaneously and to think what kind of message would warrant that in the future,” Kristen Townsend of Sioux Falls said.

Some customers didn’t know what to make of the message left by President Trump.

“I looked down, presidential something, or other and I’m like, I looked at him and he’s looking around, and everybody’s taken about four seconds to look at it and then going about their business, Kevin Tupy of Sioux Falls said.

You already receive localized weather alerts as well as Amber Alerts on your cell phone.  So, this national message is the next technological step forward in alerting you to emergencies.

“I think it’s a good thing.  I think it’s something that’s necessary.  It just gets us more prepared for large-scale events,” Minnehaha County Assistant Emergency Manager Doug Blomker said.

But some people are concerned that a politician like President Trump is attaching his name to the alert, even though FEMA actually sends the message.

“I’m a former Red Cross director of development myself and so coming from FEMA, I would say yes, that would make you safer,” Townsend said.

Others say adding another layer of alerts could ultimately water-down the messaging.

“I mean, Fleetwood Mac coming to town or what have you.  I might not pay as much attention to it,” Tupy said.

FEMA says the test alert went to about 225-million devices. But we talked to a couple of people in Josiah’s who never got the message.