The new feature allows users to receive alerts from local, state, and federal officials through the initiative FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. The National Weather Service is also expected to start issuing Wireless Emergency Alerts by the end of June, which means that users will be able to receive weather related alerts on their iPhones. It makes sense to add support for such emergency alerts in iOS and other mobile operating systems as the chances of us seeing the alert on our mobile phones is a lot higher than hearing it on radio or TV, which have been traditionally used to communicate such emergency alerts.
You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are – at home, at school, or at work. Public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Check with the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System Authorities website to learn what is available in your area.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in coordination with State and Local public safety officials, sends out AMBER Wireless Emergency Alerts through IPAWS. If you travel into a threat area after an alert is first sent, your WEA-capable device will receive the message when you enter the area.

You may get very few WEA messages, or you may receive frequent messages when conditions change during an emergency. You can opt-out of receiving WEA messages for imminent threats and AMBER alerts, but not for Presidential messages.
The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation’s existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency. EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools. It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System.
Business InsiderIf you own an iPhone, chances are you've been disturbed before by a loud Amber or Emergency Alert notification.
It's also important to note that both types of alerts are location based, so they'll always be relevant to your current area.
While turning these alerts off isn't recommended (who knows when the information could come in handy or save a life), it is possible to turn them off.

Users can also receive Amber Alerts – a child abduction alert issued upon the suspected abduction of a child. The WEA message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. Just like emergency weather alerts you see on local TV, WEAs are broadcast from area cell towers to mobile devices in the area. Other sources include NOAA Weather Radio, news broadcasts, the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV programs, outdoor sirens, and other alerting methods offered by local and state public safety agencies.
EAS may be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
Every WEA-capable phone within range receives the message, just like TV that shows the emergency weather alert if it is turned on.

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