For the the first time, 200 million cell phones will blare simultaneously in the United States on Wednesday at 11:18 a.m. PST.
It's the first national test of the Wireless Emergency Network, or WEA, designed to warn of widespread catastrophe.
The test will send tone and vibration, much like flood alerts and Amber Alerts for missing children.
But the timing may be less than ideal for survivors of the North Bay firestorms.
"We're triggering people unnecessarily," Lani Joliff of Santa Rosa told KTVU.
Joliff is a community leader in Coffey Park, devastated by the Tubbs fire almost one year ago.
She understands the national alert is designed for a large scale disaster, but notes, "We already experienced that, I think we're a day late and a dollar short."
And Joliff regrets that the tests falls so close to the Oct. 9 anniversary of the devastating fires, because people are already suffering trauma.
"I was watching videos, and I start crying. I start bawling, even this morning, and I did not lose my house," said Joliff, "because trauma is in your body, it's in your soul, you can't just turn a switch and have it go away."
Radio and television broadcasters will carry the test a few minutes after cellular phones.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has posted videos explaining the test on its web and social media platforms.
The alert will begin with the words, "this is a test" and end with "no action is needed."
"It means every cell phone in Sonoma County and across the nation will receive this alert," said Lt. Lt. John Cregan of the Santa Rosa Police Department.
"We don't want people to be panicked by that, the message is going to be very clear. This is just a test."
Even so, Lt. Cregan says dispatchers at SRPD - and most likely many other departments- are expecting a flurry of 911 calls from residents who mistake the alert for something real.
"It's going to create a little hysteria, how can it not?," posed Coffey Park fire survivor Quincy King.
"All of a sudden, people are going to look at their phones, and see this and say 'what' ?"
Tuesday evening, King was checking on the progress of the rebuilding of his home.
It burned to the ground, and his family, like most in Sonoma County, received no official warning.
So he was a bit bemused by the nationwide alert hitting cell phones Wednesday.
"I think they need to look at local, regional, state, and county," said King.
"If there is impending doom, and the nation is getting wiped out, it's wiped out," he continued, "but let's take care of the people right here, let's take care of my backyard, let's make sure this doesn't happen again."
Anyone who doesn't want to receive the alert can go to the phone notification settings in their phone and disable it.
But emergency responders hope they won't, because cell phones, along with opt- in alerts via text, email, or voice call, can create an overlapping blanket of protection.
"This will be interesting to see it works with every cell tower activating at once," said Paul Lowenthal, Assistant Fire Marshal for Santa Rosa.
The city tested wireless emergency alerts last month on a localized scale, and found some phones that should have received messages did not.
"There was a lot learned in that test," admitted Lowenthal, "and it will be interesting to see how a test at this level, the national level, works and who does- and who doesn't - get the alert."
Quincy King, hoping to move his family into their new home in time for the holidays, believes any and all alerts are important if they manage to warn people in time to save lives and property.
"Right now, I'm good, real good," smiled Quincy, "because I'm ready to see my neighborhood grow, ready to see it come back."