An emergency alert system is a must, although sometimes annoying.
You will receive an emergency alert from time to time. And all would be fine, but this awful roar of the alarm, vibration, and then unpleasant news can just be annoying. It could be news of a missing person. Or it could be a storm warning. Suddenly and without warning, your phone scares the hell out of you. During the day it is still tolerable, but at night it will drive anyone crazy.
That is why we decided to publish this article.
The US Communications Service, together with the government, developed push notifications for smartphones based on Android to warn you about dangerous weather, missing persons or other events of national importance (not relevant for Russia and the CIS countries). The point is, they do it in the hope that the information will help save your life or someone else's.
In this article, we will tell you in detail about this system and how to interact with it.
What are the emergency alerts?
There are three (or four, depending on how you count) types of emergency alerts:
- Extreme Threat – Classified as a threat to your life or property. This could be an impending natural disaster such as a hurricane or tsunami.
- Serious Threat Less dangerous than extreme. These can be the same situations, but on a smaller scale – just stay in a safe place, you don't have to get in your car and head out into the mountains.
- AMBER Alerts: These are special alerts aimed at finding missing children. AMBER technically stands for America's Lost: Broadcast of Emergency Response. The AMBER system was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped and killed in 1996. If you have not heard about this system, you will be lost in conjectures: why would someone send you some coordinates and the make, model and license plate of some car?
- Alert from the President. These alerts often fall into the “emergency threat” category, but they differ in that they are issued directly by the President of the United States (or indirectly through his office) and cannot be disabled in your phone settings.
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It is very loud and unpleasant. But it gets worse if your phone has good speakers, or if you're in the company of several people with their phones turned on.
You will also notice that your phone vibrates when you receive such alerts.
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How do I turn off emergency notifications?
You can turn off alerts of all types except presidential ones. However, we recommend that you do not disable them, as the information may help you (or help you help someone else) in a critical situation. But if our warnings didn't work, then here's how to disable emergency notifications.
The settings for these notifications are in different places depending on the model of your smartphone (Thank you, Android!) But they will be called “Emergency Alerts” anyway. The best way to find them is to open the settings, and if you have a search function, just enter “Emergency Alerts” – the phone will most likely find these settings for you right away. If you don't have a search function, look in your sound, notification or screen settings.
Here's how it looks on different versions of Android and Samsung phones:
Depending on your phone, you will be able to toggle each of the notification types independently. You can also choose how the alerts will appear and adjust the vibration.