When there is an emergency, you should be informed. And one of the best ways is to activate government alerts on your iPhone. These alerts help us all communicate with our competent national, state and local authorities so that we are aware of any public safety emergency and any necessary actions.

How to turn on amber alert on iphone canada

i don’t have government alerts on my iphone

How To Find Amber Alerts on iPhone

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone. Tap on Notifications and scroll all the way to the bottom. Under the Government Alerts section, toggle the AMBER Alerts, Emergency Alerts, and Public Safety Alerts options on or off to enable or disable them.

How do I find old Amber Alerts on my iPhone?

Where can I find received amber alerts after unlocking the screen? Amber Alerts will be found when you swipe down Notification Center. Check the All or Missed tabs.

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emergency warning iphone
How to get emergency alerts on your iPhone

How to turn off amber alert on iphone canada

When there is an emergency, you should be informed. And one of the best ways is to activate government alerts on your iPhone. These alerts help us all communicate with our competent national, state and local authorities so that we are aware of any public safety emergency and any necessary actions.

Because Apple enables such government alerts by default, general security, emergency and Amber alerts should already be enabled on your iPhone and Apple Watch. But it never hurts to make sure you get these important warnings, especially in times of crisis.

How to view emergency alerts on iphone

And when the crisis is over, you can get your government alert settings back to normal at any time. So, why not wear it when you need it?

Unfortunately, not all countries support emergency warnings. So if you’re looking for these settings but can’t find them, contact your operator to check again that your country does not support a state emergency alert system.

Example of the types of alerts sent include:

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) including notices about evacuation orders and other critical messages for the geographic area affected by an emergency
  • Alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life
  • Alerts for extreme weather conditions
  • Public Safety Alerts
  • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency
  • Missing or abducted child alerts (AMBER alert)
    emergency alert from local city government
    alerts like this from the city of Chicago let the public know what is going on and any action the public needs to take


When a government authority issues an alert, you get a notification and an alarm-like sound plays plus vibration to get your attention. This sound and the vibration repeats twice.

You get emergency alerts even if you turned on Do Not Disturb, Bedtime, or any other feature that normally silences notifications.

Finally, these alerts are free. Your carrier should not charge you for any emergency alert issued by a government agency. Plus, these messages do not count towards any texting limit on your wireless plan.

How to view emergency alerts on iPhone

Check your iPhone’s government emergency alert settings

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen
  3. Look for the Government Alerts category. In some countries, it’s labeled as Emergency Alertsemergency, government, safety, and AMBER alerts on iPhone settings
  4. Toggle on or off any changes you want

We strongly recommend you to enable both Emergency and Public Safety alerts!

Not hearing the alert’s alarm sound?

If you do not hear an alert but see it as a notification on your screen, it’s likely that your iPhone’s ringer sound is turned all the way down or you flipped the iPhone’s side switch to mute.

ring and silent (mute) switch on iPhone
Check your side switch on your iPhone. If you see orange, you’re on mute

To hear the sounds, turn your iPhone’s ringer volume up and make sure the side switch is not on mute.

Not getting emergency alerts?

  1. Disable all government alerts in your notification settings
  2. Restart the device
  3. Toggle all alerts back on

Other alert options

A lot of our frequently used apps also offer emergency notification services.

Twitter has an in-app option to receive information about crises and emergencies. Along with your iPhone government alerts, Twitter is a good option for times when you need frequent updates on the situation.

  1. Open the Twitter app
  2. Tap your account icon (usually your picture)
  3. Choose Settings and privacy
  4. Select Notifications
  5. Tap SMS Notifications and Push Notifications (one at a time)
  6. Toggle on Crisis and emergency alertsemergency alerts via the Twitter app on iPhone

Check with your local city, county, or state/province

Many localities also offer their own emergency alert systems, usually through SMS texts or emails.

So visit your city, state, or other government site and look for any emergency alert systems.

Receive Test Emergency Alerts (the US only)

When you use a US carrier and you are in the U.S, you can receive Test Emergency Alerts–just to make sure the system is working.

By default, this is turned off.

When you receive this type of alert, you hear an alarm and the alert says that it’s a test–not an actual emergency.

Turn these test alerts on or off

  1. Open the Phone app and tap Keypad
  2. To turn it on, type in *5005*25371# and make a call. You hear confirmation that”test alerts enabled”
  3. To turn it off, type in *5005*25370# and make a call. You hear confirmation that”test alerts disabled”

How to find amber alerts on iphone

Learn how to turn on emergency, government, and public safety alerts on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

You can receive emergency, government, and public safety alerts on your iPhone and Apple Watch. In the event of an emergency, here’s what you might see:

  • Alerts issued by your country or region’s government
  • Alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life
  • Alerts for extreme weather conditions
  • AMBER alerts (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response)*
  • Public Safety Alerts*

*AMBER alerts and Public Safety Alerts aren’t available in all countries or regions.

Turn Government Alerts on or off

By default, Government Alerts are turned on for your device.* When you receive a government alert, you hear a special sound that’s similar to an alarm. If you want to turn these alerts on or off, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. Scroll to the very bottom of the screen.
  3. Under Government Alerts, turn the type of alert on or off.*

*Government Alerts are supported when using a SIM card from a supported carrier. Your Apple Watch can receive these alerts if your iPhone can receive them and is nearby, or your Apple Watch is on a Wi-Fi network. With a cellular plan from a supported carrier, your Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + cellular) can receive these alerts without your iPhone nearby. For more information, contact your carrier. 

*In some countries, you may not be able to disable Government Alerts.

Choose to receive Test Emergency Alerts in the United States

When your iPhone is connected to a carrier in the United States — using a U.S. SIM or while roaming in the U.S. — you can enable Test Emergency Alerts. By default, this is turned off. When you receive this type of alert, you’ll hear a sound that’s similar to an alarm, and the alert will mention that it’s a test. To turn these alerts on or off, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Phone app and tap Keypad.
    • To turn it on: Enter *5005*25371# and tap . You’ll get an alert that says “Test alerts enabled.”
    • To turn it off: Enter *5005*25370# and tap . You’ll get an alert that says “Test alerts disabled.”

Government test alerts are available with U.S. carriers, including Puerto Rico. Your local government is responsible for the content and the frequency of the test alerts. You can disable this feature anytime with the steps above. For more information, contact your carrier.

How to turn off amber alert on iphone canada

CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao, told the Canadian Press “People cannot opt out of this,” adding, “There is a high importance that people — want it or not — receive these alerts.”

The CRTC had the final say when it came to deciding whether the system should have an opt out option or not, despite a recent report which said most wireless carriers wanted an option to disable some alerts or entirely altogether.

Patrick Tanguy, an assistant deputy minister with Public Safety Canada, said “When you’re getting those alerts your life is at risk,” adding “So it’s not there’s potentially a danger, there is a danger.”

All levels of government are working on setting up best practices to ensure a smooth rollout, “to make sure those events don’t happen like it happened in Hawaii,” says Tanguy. He admitted the new system “is not 100 per cent bulletproof”.

Alert ready

The wireless alerts from Alert Ready will be handled by the parent company of the Weather Network, Pelmorex Corp., headquartered in Oakville, Ontario. Test alerts will be sent out in early May to ready wireless users to the new system.

According to Paul Temple, senior vice-president of regulatory and strategic affairs at Pelmorex, “People should hopefully be familiar with that sound by the time they get an actual emergency message.” He added with the popularity of smartphones “it’s just another way to reach people quickly when their life is possibly in danger,” instead of just radio and TV.

Last fall Pelmorex acquired a mobile advertising company to boost their monetization efforts within their app, The Weather Network, which harnesses user location for targeted ads.

There are requirements for Canadians to be part of this new wireless alerts system. Users must have an LTE device that supports wireless public alerting (WPA) and also be connected to an LTE cellular network at the time an alert is sent.

For iPhone owners, this means if you have an iPhone 5 or newer, your device will support this new emergency alert system.

For users with older phones using 3G data or only have Wi-Fi connectivity, the free iOS app Alertable can send you alerts, as it is linked to Canada’s Alert Ready system.

How to turn on amber alert on iphone canada

Amber, emergency, and public safety alerts on an iPhone are loud — startle-you-to-death loud even. They can happen at any time, day or night, and sometimes back to back when you’re in a big city. Those blaring sirens can wake you from sleep, interrupt an important meeting, or disrupt an entire movie theater mid-movie, but you can turn most of them off if you’re tired of hearing them.

If you’ve never seen one of these alarming alerts, they look similar to other notifications you receive on your iPhone, except they’re accompanied by a loud sound — even if you have Do Not Disturb turned on. Below are a couple of examples of government alerts in the United States (left) and Canada (right).

Before we jump right into disabling the deafening alarms, it’s worth pointing out how useful they can be and why you should only toggle them off temporarily. Yes, they can be so annoying, frustrating, and startling that they can cause panic attacksangry fits, and even car wrecks, but they are designed to save lives.

Why Should You Consider Keeping These Alerts On?

You could see and hear five main types of government alerts on your iPhone: Amber, emergency, public safety, presidential, and test. All of these alerts and warnings are issued by government agencies and occur in a specific cellular coverage zone in a locally targeted area. They do not use GPS to track you down — they’re broadcast over cell towers in the affected locality — so you can get them anywhere you are, whether you live there or not.

Federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies and public safety officials send out these alerts through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to wireless carriers, who then issue the alerts to devices in the targeted area. These alerts are limited to 360 characters on supported devices.

The jolting alerts you see on your iPhone come via the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, which is maintained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service (NWS), whom also maintains the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the system that disseminates alerts to non-wireless devices such “radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers.”

  • Amber: AMBER is an acronym for “America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response,” which uses EAS to send vital details of very recent child abduction cases. These details could include a name or description of the abducted child, name or description of the abductor, license plate or description of the vehicle that child was last seen in, and more. In some cases, they could include a photo of the abductee, abductor, or car. These alerts are sent out as soon as possible to aid in recovering a missing or kidnapped child. Amber Alerts aren’t just for children either — they can be sent out for any person’s disappearance. And some lawmakers are trying to also include hit-and-runs in Amber Alerts.
  • Emergency: These alerts are for things considered imminent threats. The most frequent ones are for extreme weather conditions and life-threatening natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, earthquakes, wildfires, volcano eruptions, lightning storms, tsunamis, mudslides, extreme heat, and considerable or catastrophic flash floods. You’ll also see these alerts used for human-made disasters, active shooters, and terrorist attacks.
  • Public Safety: These less-severe alerts are for threats that are not considered to cause imminent danger or for threats that occur after an imminent threat has happened. Examples include “shelter in place” advisories and “boil water” warnings. States and local governments are even using public safety alerts to issue important coronavirus pandemic messages, such as when high surges of COVID-19 cases happen in a specific area and where you could get tested.
  • Presidential: Out of all of the alerts listed, presidential alerts are the only ones you can never turn off and the ones most likely to be sent out on a national level instead of regionally. These alerts are issued by the President of the United States or a designee and are strictly for nationwide emergency events, such as a national terrorist attack or nuclear invasion.
  • Test: Government agencies and officials only use these alerts to check the functionality of any of the above types of alerts. These are opt-out, which you’ll see below.

All of these alerts are meant to save lives, whether someone else’s or your own. Still, there may be occasions when you need to turn them off, and that’s totally possible to do on an iPhone.

When Do These Alerts Work on Your iPhone?

As mentioned previously, these alerts will show up as a notification and sound off whenever one is issued, and that includes when you have Do Not Disturb turned on. However, if you have your iPhone on silent mode, you will not hear the earsplitting noise but will still receive the notification. So if all you want to do is keep the sound away, consider using silent mode more often. Otherwise, you can turn the alerts off completely.

Turning Off Amber, Emergency & Public Safety Alerts

To turn off government alerts on your iPhone, go into the Settings app, then into “Notifications.” Scroll to the bottom, and you’ll see the three types of government alerts — “AMBER Alerts,” “Emergency Alerts,” and “Public Safety Alerts.” All of these are on by default. To toggle one or all of them off, simply tap the switch to the right of each one.

Turning Off Test Emergency Alerts on Your iPhone

If you live in the United States and have a plan with a U.S. carrier or are visiting the U.S. with a U.S.-based SIM card, you’re able to receive test emergency alerts. These are similar to the regular government alerts, except that they’re tests meant to test the system and prepare you for an actual emergency. Local governments determine the frequency of these alerts, as well as the content.

While these test emergency alerts are disabled by default, you may have enabled them in the past. How, you might ask? To turn on test emergency alerts, you must call the dialer code *5005*25371# from the Phone keypad on your iPhone. Luckily, turning off test emergency alerts is very similar:


Call that number from your Phone app, and an alert that says “Test alerts disabled” will appear, signaling that the alerts have been turned off.