Everything you need to know about the AMBER Alert on your Android Device
Every Android smartphone user has got an emergency alert built into the device. Every so often the alert goes off with a deafening sound and an intense vibration that feels like the earth is trying to shake you off its surface. Ever wondered why an emergency alert is so jarring? It’s meant to be. US network providers and carriers have collaborated with the federal government to alert your Android (and therefore you) to announcements concerning bad weather, life-threatening situations, missing persons, and any threats to your security. Here’s everything you need to know about how they work.
Depending on what Android device you use, there are up to four kinds of emergency alerts. Extreme threats and severe threats both deal in weather and include alerts for tsunamis, hurricanes, or tornados in various degrees. An AMBER alert is aimed to help locate missing children and will include pertinent information such as a vehicle description, a location of the alert, and other details that the authorities might deem useful. AMBER is an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response but the alert was also named for Amber Hagerman who was kidnapped and killed in Arlington, Texas in 1996 when she was 9 years old. A presidential alert comes directly from the President of the United States. This alert cannot be turned off in your phone’s settings. Though it’s recommended that you keep all other alerts on as well, you can turn off all other alerts. Here’s how to do it.
In your settings menu, locate the “Cell Broadcasts” option and turn it off. Where this option depends on how your phone is configured. If you have a search function, you could type the word broadcasts in your search bar. If not, look under the sound, notification, or display settings. You can choose to configure each of the alerts individually. This way you can control how they can alert you and whether or not they will vibrate. Some phones will even allow you to turn tests of the emergency alert system on or off.