The alert you received on your cell phone might be a Wireless Emergency Alert. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the wireless industry, have began sending emergency alerts though CMAS (also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) or Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN)). It is a new public safety system that allows customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.

Find phone carrier specific information and other general information at  the CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Find specific weather alert broadcast information at NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation.