Sunday morning around 5 am the first AMBER Alert for phones went out and many people were startled awake by a really loud noise they had never heard before. While most people agree that a loud warning noise is appropriate for a weather event such as a flash flood or tornado, there has been much discussion about the merits of an AMBER Alert that wakes people from their beds where they are pretty unlikely to be of any assistance.
I’m not offering an opinion one way or the other, however I understand the plight of the new mom who has been up all night with her baby and just got them back to sleep or the guy who worked third shift and was finally able to stretch out in bed when this went off. This particular alert was state wide and many people were resentful for being woken up when they lived no where near the area of focus. Either way, it’s important for people to understand that they do have control over whether they receive these alerts or not. Unfortunately, as things are now, you either get the alerts or you don’t depending on how you have your settings configured. There is no middle ground. (The alerts do not acknowledge the “Do Not Disturb” setting and will go off regardless.) Once you shut them off, you will not be alerted no matter what.
So how do you turn off alerts on your iPhone should you want to stop receiving them?
(Sorry – I am not sure about Droid phones.)
Go to settings and find the “notifications” tab.
Once in Notifications, scroll ALL the way to the bottom where you will find a section titled “Government Alerts”. Here you can toggle either the AMBER Alert and/or Emergency Alerts on or off.
My personal recommendation would be to make sure you have some kind of emergency radio app if you turn off the government emergency alerts. I have a weather radio app that only goes off if there is an emergency in specific counties. That way, I am not being notified if there is a tornado on the other side of the state. Just think carefully and consider the consequences of turning off either alert before taking any action.