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Managing Emergency Alerts on Your Smartphone

Published 08/12/2015 10:39 AM   |    Updated 01/07/2016 12:48 PM

As a matter of public safety and awareness, most smartphones are automatically set to receive emergency messages or alerts. These alerts are typically divided into severe weather notifications and AMBER (America's Missing; Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts.

Receiving an emergency alert on your smartphone is pretty hard to miss. It causes your device to vibrate and produce a unique audible signal (much like the emergency broadcast tests you hear on TV). If you don't want to receive severe weather notifications or AMBER Alerts, you can disable them on your smartphone, but please note that on some devices a class of emergency messages called Presidential Alerts can't be disabled.

Disabling Emergency Messages and AMBER Alerts on iPhones

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications > Government Alerts (scroll to the bottom of the Notification Center)
  2. Toggle Emergency Alerts and/or AMBER Alerts off to no longer receive them.

Turning off Emergency Alerts on an iPhone

In the second screen shot above, both types of government alerts are enabled.

Disabling Emergency Messages and AMBER Alerts on Samsung Galaxy devices

  1. Click the Messaging app (envelope) icon > Menu > Settings > Emergency Alerts
  2. Uncheck the alerts you no longer want to receive.

Turning off emergency alerts on a Samsung Galaxy

In the third screen shot above, all alerts except the mandatory Presidential alerts have been disabled.

Instructions for managing emergency alerts on other Android devices will vary.

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