The latest iPhones support both emergency alerts and amber alerts. Emergency alerts were created as part of a joint effort between the wireless industry, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). The goal was to be able to send short, concise messages for three types of emergency alerts. These include Presidential Alerts, which is any alert issued by the President or someone issuing on his behalf. Imminent Threat Alerts are in the event of an impending natural disaster such as hurricane, earthquake or tornado. By alerting citizens, they can seek shelter in the event of a catastrophic storm. Amber alerts are considered the third kind of emergency alert. They are in place to help local law enforcement search for and locate children who have been abducted. On the iPhone, amber alerts and emergency alerts are separated, allowing you to enable or disable one or the other. Here’s how to turn on or turn off AMBER and/or Emergency alerts on iPhone.
How to disable emergency or AMBER alerts
To turn off emergency alerts, you have to make a minor change to your Notification Center settings.
- Navigate to Settings > Notification Center
- Scroll down to ‘Government Alerts‘
- Toggle the on/off switch for either AMBER Alerts or Emergency Alerts
Tip: Chances are that you are not receiving many of these alerts and that is by design. These were developed to issue alerts for serious life saving situations. Proceed with caution before disabling your Emergency Alerts. As extreme weather becomes increasingly life threatening, these alerts could prove to be beneficial, if not a lifesaver.
Apple first added support for the emergency alert system with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s in June, 2013. By default, these are enabled on all new iPhones running iOS 7 or later. The agreement in place with the FCC, FEMA, wireless manufacturers and all major U.S. carriers. Though enabled by default, ultimately customers have the capability to disable these features.