The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates 460,000 children go missing every year in the United States alone. In response, various organizations in the US have launched an emergency alerts system that sends notifications when a child goes missing in your area. They call it AMBER Alert, which blasts on your smartphone among other media such as radio and television. While this alert is beneficial for a number of reasons, it can also result in interruptions while you are in an important meeting or, worst, at three in the morning. The standing question now is how to turn off AMBER Alerts.
For the record, it is advisable to keep this alert at all times because it does increase public awareness and the chances of recovering the missing person. Turning it off should not be done as if you are just trying to block text messages from an annoying person.
In this article, we will go over what AMBER Alert is and how to turn it off if it is absolutely necessary.
What Is AMBER Alert?
America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert is an early warning system launched in 1996 as a response by Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters and the local police to help find missing children. The name is a memorial for Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old girl from Texas, following her adduction and murder. Soon after, other communities across the US and other countries formed their own AMBER Alerts.
To clarify, AMBER Alert is just one tool law enforcement uses for serious cases of abduction and other types that meet the criteria. The Wireless Emergency Alert program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is another protocol law enforcement uses in abduction cases. AMBER Alert can also be issued across the nation and jurisdiction lines.
How Does AMBER Alert Work?
Local broadcasters and transportation officials receive notification about the report from law enforcement if an abduction case meets the AMBER criteria. In the US, AMBER Alerts interrupt regular TV, radio, and DOT highway programming to alert the public that a child is missing. Furthermore, AMBER Alerts can be disseminated on other forms of media including internet ads, lottery, and wireless devices such as mobile phones.
It starts with a 911 call that a child is missing. It may then be followed by a call to the AMBER Alert Program Coordinator who gets to decide whether the case meets the AMBER criteria. If confirmed, they will send the alert to the media, cellphones, and TV. The AMBER Alert is deactivated once the child is found.
The AMBER Alert system has resulted in the recovery of 1,029 since December 2020.
How to Turn Off AMBER Alerts?
The setting on how to disable AMBER Alerts can be found in different places. This depends on the kind of device and carrier you are using. Also, turning off AMBER Alerts is quite simple.
How to Turn Off AMBER Alerts on Samsung Phones
There are two methods on how to disable AMBER Alerts in Samsung phones. You can try these methods and see what works best.
- Tap Messages app open.
- Open Menu by tapping the three dots icon beside the magnifier glass icon.
- Select Settings > Notifications > select Emergency Alerts.
- Tap the switch for Show Notification. This will effectively disable AMBER Alerts on your phone.
- Navigate to the Settings app from the home screen.
- Tap Connections > More Connection Settings > Wireless Emergency Alerts.
- Select Settings > tap Alert Types.
- Tap the switch to turn off all alerts including Presidential Alerts on your phone.
It is highly like the same settings are true for other Android phones. But just in case you are using a different phone, read on and check how to disable AMBER Alerts for your device.
How to Disable AMBER Alerts on iPhone
The settings on iPhone to turn AMBER Alerts off are quite easy. And unlike on Samsung, there’s just one easy way to do it.
- Navigate to the Settings app from the home screen.
- Tap Notifications.
- Scroll down until you find the switch to AMBER Alerts. Tap the switch to disable receiving AMBER Alerts in the future.
There are other government-related emergency alerts under this section that you can turn on or off. It is highly advisable to leave those alerts on, but you can also turn them off if you deem it necessary.
How to Turn Off AMBER Alerts on Stock Android Phones
Stock Android phones, also referred to as vanilla or pure Android, are phones that run with the most basic version of the OS developed by Google. Over time, this version of the OS has been adopted by other phone developers and incorporated their own modifications, giving birth to OS like ColorOS used in Oppo phones. OxygenOS, and the likes.
The setting to disable AMBER Alerts on these phones varies. But we will attempt to outline the most common method to turn off the alerts.
- Navigate and open the Settings app from the home screen.
- Scroll down and select Security > scroll down and tap Emergency Alerts Settings.
- If you see the Display AMBER Alerts switch in blue, that means the alert system is on. Tap it to turn the alerts off.
Why Disable AMBER Alerts?
As we have already established, AMBER Alerts is a system that informs the public a child is missing. The goal is to tip the public and help locate the missing child. Furthermore, while the system is in place in many communities, the system varies per state and jurisdiction.
However, the screeching noise it makes is unsettling at times, especially when you are deep in sleep and suddenly AMBER Alerts fire up on your phone. And since this is a feature that comes along with your mobile network provider, there’s really no telling when it’ll fire up.
If you find yourself disturbed by the screeching noise the alerts make, you can opt to disable AMBER Alerts on your phone by following the steps to disable them outlined above. But it is with utmost urgency that we recommend keeping the alerts on because you might not know how necessary the alerts are in locating a missing child in your area.
No system is perfect but it does not mean it is not worth the try to put one in especially one that targets criminals against children. Since its launch in 1996, AMBER Alerts was able to recover 1,029 children and brought them back to their families. That alone is proof that the system is doing an impressive performance.
However, AMBER Alerts can only do so much. It still requires the cooperation of the public to safely and efficiently recover a missing child. With this thesis, we hope you keep your AMBER Alerts on and only turn it off when absolutely necessary. Whatever constitutes the absolutely necessary category, we’ll leave that up to you.
Next time you receive an AMBER Alert, don’t dismiss it as just another unwelcome noise on your cellphone. You might just be able to save a child.