Learn to enable and disable emergency alerts on your phone

My parents live in Katy, Texas and Hurricane Harvey was the first big storm they experienced as iPhone owners.

Mom and Dad faithfully charge their phones each night on a desk in the living room, which is one room away from where they sleep.

I asked Mom if she’d slept soundly through all that rain, and she said she and my dad were roused several times that first night by emergency weather alerts coming from their phones.

She said after the weather alert sounded a few times she finally got up to see the message.

I told her the emergency alerts were for their safety, but with numerous flood warnings and tornado warnings sounding she probably needed to learn how to turn off those alerts, at least during the day when they were keeping up with the news on TV.

For the times when the TV or radio was not on, it’s important to keep those weather alerts sounding so the warnings can get through.


On iPhones, open the Settings, choose Notifications and scroll all the way to the bottom, and you can toggle Amber Alerts and Emergency Alerts on or off.


Android phone users might find the emergency alert settings in a few different places depending on their version of Android.

I’ve been carrying a Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, which has the emergency alert settings accessible through the Messages app.

Launch Messages, then touch the three dots on the upper right of the app screen and choose Settings.

Then toward the bottom of the settings screen, you’ll see Emergency Alert settings.

Touch it and you’ll be able to choose to toggle on and off Amber Alerts, Severe alerts and Extreme alerts.

Android’s alert settings also mentioned Presidential Alerts that are mandatory and cannot be turned off.

Also, it’s worth noting that if you have emergency alerts turned on, the familiar alert tone will sound loudly even if you have your phone’s Do Not Disturb settings activated, so if you truly want your phone to remain silent, you’ll want to know how to turn the emergency alerts on and off.

For a full tutorial, including illustrations on how to enable and disable the various alerts, you can read https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/how-to-turn-off-amber-alerts.



Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at jrossman@dallasnews.com.

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