Emergency alerts on your phone: Why you're receiving them - New York News

Emergency alerts on your phone: Why you're receiving them

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -

By now you've probably been startled and scared by those loud emergency alert warnings on your cell phones when the storms have been moving in. Most of us just started hearing those for the first time in the past few weeks.

A new law allowing these alerts went into effect last year. But recently those alerts have been rolled out to cover more phone devices, and just this week residents in the valley got a number of alerts -- warning of dust storms and an amber alert.

"I was thinking that the world might come to an end is the first response that I had!" said Mike McQuial.

But after taking a look at your cell phone, you likely saw something like this. It's part of the wireless emergency alert system. Warning of weather emergencies, and amber alerts, all targeted to your area.

"It's almost a little big brother, like how do they know the phones in the area," said Danna Rahl.

Government agencies send messages to the towers in your area -- and the phone carriers send those messages to your phone.

"I'd like to turn it off."

You can opt out of receiving almost all of these notifications, but as I quickly find out, on some phone it can be tricky.

You may need to call your provider for instructions. On an iPhone, go to "notifications" in your settings to turn it off.

"I've lived in Arizona long enough to look in the sky and know if I should take action. I want to know if there is something I can do for that one."

You can't opt out of presidential alerts -- they are notifications issued by the president.

"I think it's amazing that they have ability to get that info out to everybody," said Mark Rahl.

Even if you block text messaging you will still receive these alerts -- but they are at no cost to you. You can turn most all of these alerts off, except ones coming from the president, which no one has yet received.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Cardinal, leaders meet about NYPD-community relations

    Cardinal, leaders meet about NYPD-community relations

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:43:05 GMT
    Timothy Cardinal Dolan gathered religious and city leaders with the focus of how to ease tensions between police and the community in advance of this Saturday's march to protest the death of Eric Garner. Some of the leaders in this group are rarely photographed together, let alone seated at the same table. But they were brought together over concerns about possible protest violence by the cardinal, one of the most powerful figures in the city and who commands respect across the board.
    Timothy Cardinal Dolan gathered religious and city leaders with the focus of how to ease tensions between police and the community in advance of this Saturday's march to protest the death of Eric Garner. Some of the leaders in this group are rarely photographed together, let alone seated at the same table. But they were brought together over concerns about possible protest violence by the cardinal, one of the most powerful figures in the city and who commands respect across the board.
  • New York's daring Instagrammers

    New York's daring Instagrammers

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:03 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:03:35 GMT
    Pull out your smartphone on any given day, tap on Instagram and you'll find a lot of selfies. But while the rest of us clog our feeds with our best pouty faces, a group of photographers scales and then hangs off bridges and buildings in a contest to produce the most daring photograph in New York City.
    Pull out your smartphone on any given day, tap on Instagram and you'll find a lot of selfies. But while the rest of us clog our feeds with our best pouty faces, a group of photographers scales and then hangs off bridges and buildings in a contest to produce the most daring photograph in New York City.
  • Designer clothes at giant thrift shop in NJ

    Designer clothes at giant thrift shop in NJ

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:57:04 GMT
    Like most soon-to-be third graders, Sonja knows what she's looking for when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For kids trying to be fashionable -- and parents looking to keep it affordable -- there's the Ocean County Hunger Relief Warehouse in Toms River, New Jersey. It's basically a huge thrift shop.
    Like most soon-to-be third graders, Sonja knows what she's looking for when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For kids trying to be fashionable -- and parents looking to keep it affordable -- there's the Ocean County Hunger Relief Warehouse in Toms River, New Jersey. It's basically a huge thrift shop.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices