Emergency service broadcast to my iPhone

Its not where one would think but you can turn it off on your S3.

Go to your messaging app. Pull up the menu and go to settings.
Scroll down to “Emergency Alerts”
Click on that and you can choose which kind of alerts you want to get.

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i too disabled mine. living in houston i would get about 3 or 4 amber alerts daily and each one repeated several times throughout the day and at any time of day. the final straw was when they would go off at 1 or 2 in the morning.


Akbar Knows…
Um… this is a service I’ve had on my Android for two years…?
Nice to see Apple finally catching up.

Apple added it with iOS 6.

But good job kicking those PLATFORM WARZ embers.


This is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Emergency_Alerts . You can modify what alerts you get, except for Presidential Alerts which are mandatory http://xkcd.com/1435/

The only time I’ve or a family member (android and iphone) have gotten them is driving through southern Utah, which makes sense considering that it’s a strong contender for being the flash flood capital. Although I think those might of been from AT&T because the iphone was a 4.

Now I sometimes do get weather warnings through Google Now, but those are passive and quiet.

A few times this has been a useful feature for me. More often it’s been a nuisance: warning me of a storm in a different part of the state that wasn’t coming anywhere near me.

Then there was the vacation on Dauphin Island during a tropical storm. The damn thing was going off every thirty seconds. Granted it was more useful than the satellite dish TV that was completely knocked out.

Yes, I’ve had my phone do this. A couple of flood warnings and an Amber Alert. This summer, though, was the special one. We live in New England. We get our blizzards, thunderstorms and (weak) hurricanes. This summer, though, during a thunderstorm, both our phones went off saying “Tornado Warning!” We thought, “Huh?” and turned on the television. According to local weather there was something on radar that indicated cyclonic activity. They had it up on the screen and the little knot on the radar was heading right for us. Then both our phones went off again and they basically said, “Get in the basement NOW.” We didn’t. You could hear the storm intensify for about 20 seconds as the bad bit passed over us, but that was all. Good times.

I had 2 or 3 Amber Alerts hit my phone a year or two back, and it seemed newsworthy since everyone I knew seemed to have been surprised by it. But my phone hasn’t clued me into anything important in months and months. Then again, the rain we’re expecting tonight is only the second halfway-serious weather we’ve gotten in L.A. in ages and ages.

I got another one today and the thing I find most alarming is they are sent to me like 45 min before the event is to end. Its like saying “Jason, if you are gonna die – its in the next 45 min. Take care. We the People, Inc.”

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Keep a weather ear out for… The Two-Minute Warning!


Yup. In summer in North Carolina, it seems like there’s a severe thunderstorm warning, with corresponding flash flood warning and tornado watch, every day. Have lived here all my life and never actually seen a flash flood. And severe thunderstorms are pretty obvious as they build up – hey, suddenly the sky is full of towering black clouds and the wind is whipping up, I think I can guess what might happen next. I really only care about knowing if I’m in the actual path of an actual tornado – and to be fair, my phone did tell me about that when it happened once at 4 AM. I was glad to get that notification, because there was a real tornado bearing right down on us and we did need to take shelter. It ended up passing over us without touching down, but there was no way to predict that in advance.

We were in a cafe in Tokyo when everyone’s phone went off with an earthquake alert. Very freaky! (Turned out to be not much of an earthquake too)

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That’s the thing with weather warnings - when they turn out to have been wrong (or irrelevant due to a last-minute change in storm path/behavior), everyone is pissed off. But if you didn’t do them, and the tornado or hurricane or whatever did hit, everyone would be FURIOUS. Every time there’s a big East Coast hurricane warning that leads people to board up their windows and evacuate, but the storm doesn’t live up to the hype, the media falls all over itself to find people to complain about “scare tactics” and “government over-reach.” Personally, I’d rather be warned about something that turned out not to be so bad, than be caught unawares. And I say that as a person who was charging all my emergency lighting and power devices last night, who cancelled all my work plans today, when the Bay Area storm turned out to be more of a hassle than a danger in my immediate area.

That’s exactly why I am up now. 3 am

But if you didn’t do them, and the tornado or hurricane or whatever did hit, everyone would be FURIOUS.

The better safe than sorry attitude is harmful. When you follow that to the absurd end, you end up with cancer warnings on your diapers that you just ignore because everything is be dangerous.

If the people who issue the warnings used better judgement or if my phone were smarter about what warnings matter, I wouldn’t have disabled them on my phone.

YMMV. In my town a flash flood wiped out homes at 3am, I don’t know how many were ready for it.

Everybody says that.

Then they ignore the alert when twenty three events before did not live up to their warnings.

My experience is usually to see rain coming down outside, pull out my phone, bring up the Weather Channel app, and see that there’s a “chance” of rain. Whoa, don’t go crazy with the speculation, Siri.

Yes, there are clearly only two options here! Send out warnings all the time, every time the wind picks up a little bit, or don’t send warnings at all!

So, what are you basing your critique of the judgement used by “the people who issue the warnings” on? Are you a meterologist or something?