How to View Emergency Alerts On Android

Viewing Emergency Alerts on Android: A Step-by-Step Guide

In the modern era, timely notifications are crucial for staying safe during emergencies like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or public health crises. Android devices provide a vital feature called emergency alerts that send important information to your phone directly from government agencies and other trusted sources. This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to view these emergency alerts on your Android device.

What are Emergency Alerts?

Emergency alert systems allow governments, healthcare organizations, and other critical entities to notify the public of significant events in real-time. These alerts can take various forms, including push notifications, pop-up messages, or even audio broadcasts. The purpose is straightforward: keep you informed about urgent matters that might affect your daily life.

Enabling Emergency Alerts on Your Android Device

To start receiving emergency alerts on your Android phone or tablet:

  1. Go to Settings: Open the Settings app by finding it in your app drawer and tapping its icon.
  2. Search for “Emergency Alert”: Use the search function within the Settings app (usually accessed from the top-right corner) and enter “Emergency Alert.”
  3. Select ‘Wireless Emergency Alerts’ or Similar Option: The exact label might vary depending on your device manufacturer, model, and operating system version. Common labels include Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), FEMA’s Wireless Alert System, or Public Safety Alert.
  4. Toggle the Switch to ‘On’ Position: Enable wireless emergency alerts by flipping the switch to its activated state.

Understanding Different Types of Emergency Alerts

Android devices support various types of emergency alert messages:

  • Presidential Alerts: Messages directly from the President of the United States in response to a national emergency.
  • AMBER Alerts: Urgent notifications about missing children, featuring their name and photo, as well as details on suspected abductors.
  • Imminent Threat Alerts: Notifications for severe weather events like hurricanes or tornadoes that pose an imminent threat to your location.

Viewing Emergency Alerts

Once you’ve enabled emergency alerts:

  1. Check Your Lock Screen (Oreo+): If you have Android 8.0 Oreo or higher, recent alert messages will appear on your lock screen with a notification shade.
  2. Access the Notification Panel: For devices running Android 7.x Nougat and lower, open the notification panel by dragging down from the top of your screen.

In both cases:

  1. Tap ‘Alert’ to Open Details: Selecting an emergency alert will show you more information about the situation:
    • The type of event or hazard
    • Relevant instructions for action (e.g., take cover, seek shelter)
    • Additional resources or contact details

Customizing Your Emergency Alert Experience

To tailor your experience with emergency alerts:

  1. Adjust Sound and Vibration Settings: Go to Settings > Sounds & Vibration > Wireless Emergency Alerts, then toggle the switch on or off for each option.
  2. Prioritize Which Types of Alerts You See First: Access settings as above, then scroll down to select which alert types you want to be notified about first.

Maintaining Your Safety with Android’s Enhanced Features

In addition to enabling and customizing emergency alerts:

  1. Keep Your Phone Updated: Regular software updates ensure your device receives the latest security patches and feature enhancements.
  2. Utilize Other Built-in Tools: Explore other essentail features on your Android phone, such as Flash Notifications, which provide extra visibility during emergencies.


By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be equipped to receive important emergency alerts on your Android device. Remember to customize your experience by adjusting notification settings and prioritizing the types of alerts that matter most to you. Stay informed and stay safe with Android’s built-in emergency alert system!