Weather alert

Emergency alerts on your Android smartphone are a good thing — even if they are a bit annoying

Every so often — or frequently, depending on your tolerance level — you get an AMBER alert on your phone. That horrible blaring of the emergency alert tone, the buzzing of your phone's vibrating motor, and then the grim news. Someone's missing. Or there's a severe weather alert headed your way. Suddenly and without warning, your phone's scaring the hell out of you. It's bad enough during the day, and downright dreadful in the dead of night.

And that's the idea.

The U.S. carriers have worked with the federal government to come up with a way to push alerts to your Android smartphone to warn you about inclement weather, or other matters of grave national importance. The point is they want you to see this information in hopes that it could save your life — or someone else's.

But, like a good many things, emergency alerts on Android can be a bit of a mess. We'll explain.

What kind of alerts are there?

Galaxy S4 emergency alerts

There are three (or four, depending on how you're counting) types of emergency alerts you can receive on your Android. They are:

  • Presidential alerts— No, not asking for money, but rather an alert issued by the President of the United States or a designee.
  • Imminent threat alerts — Weather, really, and this one may be broken down into "extreme threats" or "severe threats" to life and property.
  • AMBER Alerts — These are specific alerts — aimed at locating a missing child. Technically AMBER stands for "America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response." But it was named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped and killed in 1996. AMBER alerts can appear to be a bit cryptic, giving you the location of the alert, a car license plate number and the make, model and color of the vehicle.

What does an Android alert sound like?

It's loud and annoying — particularly if you have a phone with really good speakers.

You'll likely also find your phone is vibrating when an alert is issued.

How can I turn off alerts on my Android? 

Again, we'd recommend you not do this — better to be annoyed and alive than appeased and in harm's way. But you should have a little control over emergency alerts on your Android. The catch is that they may be in different places on different phones, with slightly different features.

For example:

Android emergency alerts

Here are the alert settings on the Nexus 5, which is running a "stock" version of Android 4.4.2. You'll find these options under Settings > More > Cell broadcasts. From there, you can choose which alerts to receive. (Note that there's no option to not receive presidential alerts.)

Emergency alerts on Samsung phones are tucked away in the settings of Samsung's messaging app. (Not to be confused with other messaging apps like Google's Hangouts or Facebook Messenger or AT&T's own messaging app.) So that's Messaging > Settings > (Scroll way down) > Emergency alerts. Here there's an option to not receive presidential alerts, but you can't uncheck it.

And there are quirks among phones, too. AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (on Android 4.3) has an option to remind you about emergency alerts. T-Mobile's Galaxy S4 (on Android 4.4.2) does not.

Moto X emergency alerts

Motorola's Moto X goes even further, allowing you to set the duration of the alert sound (from 2 seconds to 10 seconds, speak the alert out loud, and offer an option to opt out after receiving your first alert.

Point is, it varies by phone, and by carrier. Basic rule of thumb? To adjust your emergency and AMBER alert settings, either look in your phone's default messaging app, or in the mobile options section of your settings menu.

It's a bit of a mess. 

Other helpful links for AMBER Alerts and emergency alerts on your Android phone:

 
There are 133 comments

coraphise says:

I'd agree these can be annoying. I also haven't received a single alert on my phone since I first noticed it was implemented. I don't know if that's because I'm on Cyanogenmod or not, or if Verizon just isn't participating somehow.

NoNexus says:

Verizon participates

-------------------------------------------
You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Green_Laser says:

Try not to be in a Verizon store when the alert is sent out! Hehe, people start looking at each other as if a nuclear war about to begin with all phones in the store going off. :-)

Posted via Android Central App

SEAJeff says:

As long as your phone is connected to a cell tower and you have a recent version of any mobile OS, you'll receive them. But, they are location dependent (per tower you're connected to, not your address on record with your carrier, so they work when you travel somewhere away from home). You just haven't been somewhere at the same time that one was issued yet.

jam4775 says:

I think these alerts are a good thing... but they need to be more customizable, with each type of alert to have it's own check box to ignore the phone's sound global setting or not on the phone.

I for one want server weather alerts to sound no matter what... but I do not want amber alerts to sound if I have my phone on silent. Amber alerts are not as life threatening as some other alerts and should be treated as such... When I'm awake I look at my phone frequently and if it is on silent I'll see the amber alert soon anyways if it doesn't sound... also there would be many other people with their sound on who would still get the amber alert immediately.

Robb Nunya says:

It's because you're on CM

drhere says:

I had my first one a couple of months ago, it was a missing child in NJ (I am in NYC). It turned out to be a false alarm (thank heavens) per local news. It went off, and at first I am like "what the hell is that", sounded like the old TV Civil Defense warnings.

icebike says:

Every one of the Amber Alerts I've received on my phone were for spousal custody battles. The child is virtually never in danger in these cases. Danger to the child is probably heightened by putting out an alert in this situation.
(I know, I'm a bad person, let the hate mail flow).

TenshiNo says:

Personally, the few AMBER alerts that I've gotten have been either while I was at my desk at work (in which case there's not much I can do to help) or in the middle of the night in which case (to be honest) I'm just going to turn it off, roll over, and go back to sleep. And that's assuming that I don't turn it off entirely. I think they would actually get a lot more support for the program if it were a more "relaxed" notification. I don't need the air raid siren going off because a child is missing. Let it hit my phone just like a text message or email. It will chime, I will look (if I'm able) and I will be informed about the information. Forcing carriers and OEM's to make the phones have the horrifically loud "alarms" that go off just makes people turn the feature off.

The whole idea, here, was supposed to be to get that information in front of as many eyes as possible so that people would be aware of what's going on and be vigilant so that they could help. Crowd-sourcing the search effort, if you will. Making the service obnoxious is not the best way to accomplish that task.

rudyy50 says:

This was one of the first things I disabled/uninstalled upon rooting my phone.
Edit: presidentials gone as well.

Posted with my HTC One GPe via Android Central App

jaeskill says:

How did you disable the presidential alerts? Its not deselecting on my device.

-Rooted Note 3

neonworm says:

Why would you want to disable presidential alerts?

icebike says:

What good are they going to do for you?

(Its a serious question).

neonworm says:

I like to know what's going on. Granted, if what is happening is being sent out through a presidential alert then it would most likely be on the news. But still...

An actual presidential alert has never been issued. 9/11 didn't even get a regional alert, because the media covered it so quickly.

This system didn't exist during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

TenshiNo says:

Correct. If I'm not mistaken, the system wasn't actually online until about 2007-2008, and it wasn't a mandate that OEM's include it in devices until 2009.

jaeskill says:

If the President wants to alert me, he can contact the NSA and get my number.

I still need an answer to my question please.

neonworm says:

Lol!
BTW I don't know the answer. I don't think you can disable it.

vnangia says:

No way but to freeze the app in TiBackup. It's called CellBroadcasts.

rudyy50 says:

I disabled it in settings/apps, and for good measure I froze the app in Titanium Backup.

Posted with my HTC One GPe via Android Central App

tdizzel says:

Why? Is it really that much of an annoyance to potentially get information that could save a child's life?

droidman2177 says:

yup.

Jabid21 says:

It is a matter of personal preference. I for one would not like to get information fed to me by force, even if it is potentially life saving.

Posted via Android Central App

dusoccer10 says:

Would you feel the same way if your life was in danger? What about your parents/spouse/children?

Posted via Android Central App

Robb Nunya says:

We're all sovereign citizens, and will take our chances, thank you very much.

sakasune says:

When it goes off at 3 in the morning and scares the living daylights of everyone in the house, yes. I feel for the victims, but I'm not looking for a car/license plate at 3am, I'm going to *try* to go back to sleep.

TenshiNo says:

I agree with the *idea* of the system, but not it's implementation. There is no reason why an AMBER alert needs to go off on my phone with that horrific alarm sound at full volume. The whole idea was to get the information in front of as many eyes as possible. They could have easily made it come in like a normal notification, so that people could then respond to it like they would a text message or email. Making the system obnoxious just lessens the likelihood that people are going to use it.

Just because my phone makes that horrible noise while I'm sitting at my desk at work, it doesn't mean that I'm going to drop what I'm doing and go run outside to watch scour the streets for a particular car. However, if the alert was more subdued, I would read it when I checked my phone and be aware of the situation so that, if I were to see that car later, I would know to call the authorities.

The way they have implemented it now just makes it more likely that I'm going to silence and dismiss the notification as quickly as possible, or turn the feature off altogether.

vnangia says:

It's not getting the information out that's an issue; it's how it's done. Had they implemented this as a standard notification, then I wouldn't have turned it off. As it happened, after a spousal custody battle resulted in a piercing 3am wake up call on both my wife's and my phones, we turned it off. And now we're never going to see the alerts. Had it been a standard alert, and I had seen it the next morning, I might have paid attention. Now, I never will. To add insult to injury, in the alert we received, the child was never in danger, and the alert was issued 13 hours after the supposed abduction happened. So thanks for playing the moral card, shame it backfired on you and the others in an epic fashion.

PS: we've never received a single tornado warning even when our neighborhood was identified as being directly in the path of a confirmed on the ground tornado. So the alerts are pretty much worthless all around.

Jamookie says:

And I've received warnings for Amber alerts in other regions before. When my phone starts screaming about something that happened 1 hour ago 800 miles away, screw the license plate number, I need the flight number.

DBEvans#AC says:

I have no problem with the alerts in theory - its the implementation that's completely botched. Every other notification on my phone allows uses the volume controls in the notification settings. This one does not. It blares regardless. After going off in a business meeting, then a second one at 3am, I disabled them.

If there were a way to get them with only vibration notification, I would turn them back on. But I'm yet to find that option in any OEM device (some custom ROMs allow it, but I'm not using those at this time).

This. Received my first one in the middle of the night, boomsound speakers blaring. I thought my building was on fire. And my phone was on silent! This is going to piss a lot of people off when it goes off in a meeting, funeral, church, class, court, theater etc. I get that they want to push out emergency notifications but it should at least adhere to the volumes you have set.

TenshiNo says:

Agreed, 110%.

vicw926a4 says:

I generally agree with you, but in the case of something like a tornado alert, I think that having the alert sound wherever you are and however your volumes are set, is a good thing, so that you can take appropriate action immediately.

If it's too annoying for others to be advised a tornado is imminent, they are on their own.

zackmack7 says:

A girl in Maryland went missing last week. Around 11:30 or so, I was in the middle of class when everyone's phones let out that annoyingly loud siren. Professor went ape-sh*t. He has a strict no-cell phone policy and thought we did it as a joke lol. Had to explain to him that it was an Amber alert and that our phones do it automatically even if they are on silent.

Of course, him being the dinosaur that he is, with his dinosaur cell phone, he didn't understand it right away until after we pleaded with him for 5 minutes.

I disabled my alerts since then, but I might turn them back on because of this article.

Posted via Android Central App

Hunter Petit says:

Same here. I live in MD, my friend's phone (Samsung Galaxy) went off during the most important test of the school year (MSA). It was hilarious.

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

zackmack7 says:

Lol! thats funny. I remember those MSA days. I hated them. I surprised they don't make you guys turn off your phones all together now

Hunter Petit says:

Well, on the first day of testing our teacher told everyone to turn their phones off, but on that day my teacher lost her voice and forgot.

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

Dr. Triffid says:

And that evening, they decided to light up every phone in West Virginia with that alert, even though there appeared to be no cause to believe they were headed in this direction. All of the phones in our newsroom went nuts — except mine. That's why I have my Amber alerts disabled, but the higher levels remain on.

illdini says:

I believe the girl in this case was found (unharmed) in South Carolina. Therefore, what was the point in alerting people in the area when the perpetrator had fled?

I prefer the highway sign notifications, at least there's a chance that I would see the vehicle while I'm on the road.

Hunter Petit says:

I have a question...
Can you receive a Amber Alert/Emergency Alerts if you have a unlocked phone thats not on one of the major US carriers? (Example: Nexus 5 from Google Play on Straight Talk.)

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

Yes.

Hunter Petit says:

Thanks!

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

jaeskill says:

You're welcome friend!

Hunter Petit says:

Uhhh...

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

icebike says:

Not necessarily.

If you bought your phone over seas, or bought a model that was originally destined for a non US market, there will probably be nothing on the phone to get these messages.
My international model HTC One X has no such capability (far east market). My Wife's Moto X does have it.

retsaw says:

I've got a UK news Nexus 5 and it has an option for AMBER alerts. I've never got any emergency alerts through my phone though.

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josegb2011 says:

Yes, you should I had a nexus 4 unlocked and I got some amber alerts as well and I was on prepaid tmobile at the time. I think as long your using a network in America it will work.

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Hunter Petit says:

Thank you!

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

jaeskill says:

Anytime pal, anytime.

Hunter Petit says:

OK...

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

brendilon says:

I got an Amber Alert last week on my unlocked Moto X on StraightTalk.
So, Yes.

Hunter Petit says:

Thanks for answering!

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

jaeskill says:

...

Hunter Petit says:

...

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

seanjenkins says:

........... =&s@

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Insp_Gadget says:

Got an AMBER alert last week. Nexus 5 using Straight Talk (AT&T SIM). So, yes, it definitely works.

Posted via Android Central App

dcjose48 says:

Just got an Amber Alert today. Always catches me off guard.

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AlwaysLimey says:

This must be a US only thing yes? Never heard boo here in Ontario.

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NoNexus says:

Yeah I believe so, but the mechanism is in place if other countries want to implement it. The problem there is who is going to do it? Carriers? What if it is carrier free?

It needs to be more of a governmental alert system rather than so US specific

-------------------------------------------
You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

vividrich says:

Wow, had no idea this even existed. Obviously I've never heard it go off....

worwig says:

I had to turn off Amber alerts. Call me insensitive, but they are like the boy that cried wolf. I got one in the middle of the night. Over 200 miles away. Some child 'abducted' by a family member. Am I going to go out in the middle of the night and ride up and down the highway just in case? Then a couple of months later, same thing, only more like 400 miles away. Family member didn't return a child. I get a wake up tone in the middle of the night. In both cases the parent did eventually return the child. Sorry, no more alerts. Why would you need to send 'instant' notifications to everybody 7 hours away?

rcobourn says:

This is the thing. I live in Phoenix, AZ. A couple weeks ago we got a series of several of the same alert for a child apparently with a non-custodial parent... in Buckeye, AZ. It's basically an hour away. I was woken at about 2 am after less than 3 hours sleep, and couldn't get back to sleep. Does everyone with a cell phone an hour away need to be woken up for that? How many people lost sleep and were killed or injured in accidents as a result? I turned off the alerts, with some regret. If the alerts respected my notification settings, it would be fine, probably.

icebike says:

Non-custodial parents almost never injure their kids. We need different shades of amber.

TenshiNo says:

That's why I keep saying that the alerts need to be more "subdued" and they need to respect your "silence" settings. It does nobody any good to make the system so obnoxious that everyone ends up just turning it off.

Gekko says:

the thing i hate about these Amber alerts is that most of them are a parent "stealing" a child from another parent. i consider that a domestic dispute that's none of my business or concern.

droidman2177 says:

Agreed. Until they can get these alerts fixed, they are virtually useless. Although a great overall idea. I get weather alerts for areas 3 states away, amber alerts for areas HUNDREDS of miles away and I see this as another thing that the government can't seem to get right. GO FIGURE.

JR A says:

Happened to me a couple weeks ago in San Jose, CA. My phone and someone else's in the office. Interestingly, Sprint phones, and phones of same make model, Did not go off.

More frightening than annoying. I immediately jumped up in my chair, literally, and almost hit the deck right afterward in case of gun fire.

I appreciate the heads up with AMBER alerts. At least the user can opt put of them. I just wish I can change the notification settings.

Posted via Telepathy, Android version HAL 9000 "Carne Asada"

droidman2177 says:

"I appreciate the heads up with AMBER alerts. At least the user can opt put of them. I just wish I can change the notification settings."
This.

TenshiNo says:

Yup. Exactly.

brycenull says:

So nobody noticed the older version of Sense running on the HTC One (a version that has never been on it) in this picture lol.

<whistles>

brycenull says:

Thanks Phil lol

Good eye! That unlock ring looks just like the one from sense 3 on my My Touch 4G Slide.

Posted via Android Central App

Droid Husker says:

Noticed that too. Looked bizarre.

lt thistle says:

That's the first thing I noticed about the picture.

Posted via Android Central App

Bacchus1976 says:

No idea where these settings are on my AT&T HTC One.

Droid Husker says:

Can't find them on my AT&T HTC One either, wonder if they have them disabled for some reason or just won't allow you to change them. According to a number of things I've found (including a step by step walk through with images for the Sprint HTC One) there should be an Emergency Alerts option in the Settings menu on the stock Messages app, but I don't see that.

catberryday says:

Same for me on ATT Note 2 4.3. What gives with this? My sister's Note 3 4.3 has it.

I have an AT&T HTC One, as well, and AT&T doesn't list it as being compatible, even though it is in all the other carriers. That said, at work last week we got a severe weather alert and my co-workers iPhone 5 along with a company phone went off with the siren alert and I simultaneously got a text message with the same alert info, but blaring siren sound.

But *no* Blaring siren sound. Just a normal text message notification.

TheMindy2011 says:

Settings>More>Cell Broadcasts
Possible that it's different for me, I am rooted on CM11. Hope it works.

LB LB says:

Anyone knows where exactly is this setting on SGS3 I9300 ?
I've tried looking at the settings of the messaging app, but I can't find it there...

Is there anyway I can get these on a stock nexus Wi-Fi only tablet?

Posted via Android Central App

SEAJeff says:

They are broadcast by cell towers, so no... But, there are apps you could search for in Google Play.

Showking says:

I know this is off topic but in the picture it seems you show an HTC ONE running an older version of Sense. Is that so or am I missing something?

-Showking

The short version is I knew I had that old screenshot and could have sworn I got that notification when I was testing the VZW HTC One. Turns out it was the Droid DNA a few months before that.

Whoops.

In other news, the weather's been fine here. :)

neonworm says:

Hey look! I can finally see images in comments with the AC app!

Showking says:

Gotcha. Thanks for the reply.
-Showking

manimsoblack says:

I wish there was a setting to have them read to you if you have in headphones. I heard the alert but didn't know what it was the other day cause I was on my motorcycle. Turned out it was a tornado warning a few miles away, and that could've gone badly.

Jamookie says:

Not sure if these alerts will work with tasker, but that's what I use. I have a profile set so if my screen is off, it reads the senders name out loud, and then if I'm on my headphones it will also read the contents.

avoidtheecho says:

Scares the shit out of me when they go off at like 2am

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Robb Nunya says:

Which is why I've rooted my phone. Screw that noise.

Warrenisit says:

Root your phone and and get rid of that intrusive shit.

Posted via Android Central App

p51d007 says:

I'm sorry, but I do not like the idea of "alerts" being forced on me by the government, carrier or otherwise.
If I want an alert, I'll download an app that does it. I've got an older (GT-N7000) phone that doesn't have that
"feature", but I've got a weather app that does the weather alerts (I live in tornado alley). The presidential alerts
really bother me...and it doesn't have to do with the current or former occupant of the white house either.
It amazes me, the number of people who are willing to give up freedom, in the so called name of "security".
How did we as a species, manage to live as long as we have, without the government sending us messages
about this or that?
Hey, if you want the government sending you amber alerts, weather alerts, presidential alerts, that's your business,
but it should be VOLUNTARY, not forced on you by the carrier/manufacturer/government.

Warrenisit says:

This

Posted via Android Central App

GadgetGator says:

Please...how have you given up "freedom"? These alerts have been on TV and radio your entire life. Never heard anyone complain about their "freedom" then. Or complain about the tornado siren. Or the nuke sirens in the 1950's. So how come now it's an issue? Don't like it, use a feature phone. Or no cell. There are options. For the same reason that you say "How did we as a species mange to live without the government sending you messages" I can counter with how did we as a species manage to live without a cell phone. A smart phone is optional. And there are even older version of Android that don't have alerts built in. So again, you have options. No freedom is being compromised. Not even close.

Robb Nunya says:

Who watches TV? I don't. But I need my phone for daily living. That's how.

And seeing as how I don't have this "feature" on my phone, and won't as long as I can root and ROM a phone, I don't have to live with your simplistic, condescending "Don't like it, get out! 'Merica!" mentality.

TenshiNo says:

My TV doesn't turn itself on at full volume at 3am. My freedom of a good night's sleep is in jeopardy.

chowdog13 says:

I've had my android for a year and a half and have never received an alert of any kind.

Posted via Android Central App

Biggster says:

Does this work outside the US for a Nexus phone bought from the US PlayStore? Is it carrier dependent?

Posted via Android Central App

SEAJeff says:

They come from specific cell towers in an area designated by the alert, so you will not receive them unless your phone is currently connected to a tower in the affected area.

crxssi says:

Every alert I have EVER gotten has been a total waste or completely inaccurate. I turned it all off.

bgbagz says:

I hate to be judgmental about people or situations HOWEVER, Reading some if the ignorance above I will. Most of you probably have never dealt with or seen the affect of losing a child to something tragic and monstrous such as a child being kidnapped and later being murdered. And I pray that none of you will. I have dealt with the criminals that have taken children and done horrible things to them. The Amber alert system on a cell phone system is probably one of the most effective ways to get emergency information to people who are in public places such as a convenience store or on the road. I received my 1st amber alert week before last. it was a child who was kidnapped from Orange Va and was later found on the Eastern shore of Va. approximately 200 miles away . I do not know if it was because of the alert on a cell phone, but she was found because of the systems that are in place. Looking at some these post, I see a lot of you don't want to be inconvenienced by a short annoying sound that can save a person's life. and its probably the same people who think freedom is free. Your are probably the same people who will forward lame jokes or naked pictures to your friends. Everything comes at a cost in this life and country and it appears here that there are some selfish people in this world. I hope and pray you never experience the lost of a child or a lost of child that could have be stopped, had a person had their alerts on or even paid attention to it. There is no better reward life than to be a service to your fellow man or woman. Saving your fellow neighbor from a tragedy is one of best things you will ever experience in life.

JR A says:

I agree. I just want the option to choose how I get notified.

Posted via Telepathy, Android version HAL 9000 "Carne Asada"

Windfrenzy says:

I question how effective it is. I got an AMBER alert today. I freaked out at the noise, saw what it was, and turned it off. Then I thought, "Wait, what did that say? What kind of car was it?" There was no notification. I couldn't see how to get the message back to more carefully read the thing. The sound is too obnoxious to be effective--it's its own worst enemy. As we see here, users just want to make it stop so they either turn it off completely or, like me, miss the message as they try to JUST MAKE IT STOP! It's a shame because it could be a valuable tool, it's just poorly done.

Synycalwon says:

It IS a very poorly designed system (par for the course with most government stuff). So, it shouldn't be surprising many just turn it off. The article linked below has some good info on that:

www.cooper.com/journal/2013/08/amber-alert-the-tragedy-of-bad-design

TenshiNo says:

You could have the system in place, and have it be *far* more effective, if you didn't try and ram the alerts down everyone's ears. It's not a matter of being "inconvenienced" it's a matter of having *zero* control. There is no reason for an AMBER alert to go off full-blast with the most obnoxious sound they could find. If people received AMBER alerts like they did a text message, they would be a lot more receptive to actually reading the alert and being informed so that the could help.

Having the phone "scream" at me is not going to make me more informed. Especially when it goes off in the middle of a meeting or in the middle of the night. The system is a great idea, but you can't make the options "full-volume hell" or "nothing" and expect people not to choose "nothing".

vnangia says:

Again, let's be clear: for most people it has nothing to do with the content of the message, but the way the message arrives. The "think of the children" crowd, including you, have unwittingly set up an incentive for people to never see it and never help. In the rare case it's not a spousal custody dispute, the message is usually cryptic and uninformative, sent out hours too late to help, arrives with a strong disincentive to ever see the message, and should you dismiss it, disappears without any way of seeing it again. If it arrived like a regular alert but at the top of my notifications tray, with a regular sound, with the ability to click on it to get more info, then I'd happily open my arms to the message. Instead, I get a heart-attack inducing sound, coupled with a message like "AMBER ALERT UPDATE LIC SOMEPLATE/ST SLV SDN" and should I try to silence the phone, the message vanishes without any ability to see it again or decipher it. No, sorry dude, you and the rest of the think-of-the-children people are your own worst enemy and rightly deserve to be ignored.

c0ldburn3r says:

Pretty disgusting reading a few comments. Its a safety alert you jerks, if it was your child you would be thankful for this system.

Posted via Android Central App

rlbrooks says:

Sadly, most of my fellow Americans want the benefits of being a part of a society without feeling they have any obligation to the members of that society.

bgbagz says:

+1

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Robb Nunya says:

Thanks oh so very much for your obviously fake care for my nonexistent children. I'll sleep better tonight knowing that you're sitting up watching your phone for Amber Alerts 500 miles away from you. You rock!

nbell978 says:

That crap is already all over the news. I don't need it on my phone too, thank you very much.

GadgetGator says:

Coincidentally I got my first amber alert today. Scared me for a minute. With all that is going on with Russia these days I thought the nukes might be airborne! They must send these out in waves so not to overload things. It was at least 15-20 minutes before my partner got his and he was sitting right next to me. Geez..in a tornado situation that time difference could be a life and death matter. Not good.

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David Horgan says:

What could be more annoying is Silver Alerts down here in Heaven's Waiting Room aka Florida. We get about 2 a week and most of the time its just an elderly person looking for personal time. It washes out the seriousness of Amber Alerts. Which is why New York does not participate in the Silver Alert program.

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DroidOn says:

I got an Amber alert today. I am happy to receive them. But if I wanted to turn them off, where would I find the setting on the best phone of 2013--that is, the HTC One. ;) I cannot find the setting.

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John Vue says:

1.)Go to the stock messaging app
2.)Go to settings
3.)Emergency Alert

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geck says:

This was an incredibly well done article

Posted from my M7

Phil and readers of androidcentral,this link has info on what phones can and can not get alerts, http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB410692&cv=820#fbid=mdWydc6... and yes i know its ATT but it has a good list

dkev says:

I've had mine go off for a weather alert during a pretty serious tornado outbreak. I didn't know my phone did it automatically. It's nice to know my phone has that feature.

perez6991 says:

I turned the notifications off, they are very annoying to me.

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tlaswell says:

Dig through ATT site and look for WEA and they will give you a list of their phones that handle it. I was suprised at how short the list was. No wonder my LG Optimus G (before they dropped the Optimus brand name) didn't scream along with everyone else in the office. No WEA on the older iPhones either, just the latest 4 and 5 versions.

drathos says:

I agree that the alerts should be left on and that they serve a good purpose, but the people sending the alerts need to manage them better.

I've gotten one alert for a tornado warning in Baltimore, MD even though I was in Sterling, VA at the time and hadn't even been near Baltimore for 7 or 8 months.

As for the AMBER alerts, I've gotten alerts for 2 separate incidents. The first, I got one alert around 2 in the afternoon, another around 5, and then another 14 in the two hour span between 8 and 10pm. The whole time, I was sitting at home, and the info in the alert never changed. The second, I only got a single alert. That first incident nearly made me turn off AMBER alerts and I'm sure that there were plenty of people who *did* turn it off. When they drive people nuts with the alerts and it gets turned off, it defeats the whole purpose of the alert system.

Absolutely. If I'm snug in my bed at home, I don't need to be woken at 3am to warn me about flash floods in another part of town. It reminds me of the story of the boy who cried wolf.

Skiffle says:

You yanks are so paranoid its bloody hilarious :D

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Robb Nunya says:

Tell that to Ed Snowden.

rap1 says:

I haven't had my smartphone for long, so now I'm looking at these settings. I can tell you a bunch of people's phones getting a tornado alert in the middle of church service was how we knew how to take cover in the middle of a deadly tornado.

HeroicLove says:

I recieved an alert for an alleged kidnapping in downtown LA. However, I live 200 miles away from LA!

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nbell978 says:

Turning off amber alerts is one of the first things I do when I get a new phone. I keep the other ones on, though

Mooem says:

Disabled the AMBER alert notifications but left the other severe/extreme alerts on. I get notifications for amber alerts through a texting service provided by my local news channel. No need to have it blaring at me as I regularly check my phone regardless

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19875 says:

The loss of freedoms in this country is staggering, but the "ah, who cares" attitude is more than troubling. It is your phone and you deserve the right to turn these alerts on or off.