With iOS 6, Apple devices will receive national emergency alerts

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple devices running iOS 6 will be able to receive U.S. government alerts during an emergency or disaster, in compliance with a National Alerting Program.

The new feature, labeled by Apple as "Government Alerts," will be a part of the iOS 6 operating system when it launches for iPhone and iPad this fall, as first noticed by Emergency Management (via CNet) on Friday. That means that Wireless Emergency Alerts can be provided to Apple mobile device users.

The feature is expected to be available on all devices that can run iOS 6, including the iPhone 3GS, first released in 2009, and the iPhone 4, which became available in 2010.

Author Rick Wimberley said Apple's adoption of Wireless Emergency Alerts is "big news" for those who work in the emergency management industry. The new feature means that users can receive alerts from local, state and federal officials through FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

The National Weather service also intends to start issuing Wireless Emergency Alerts by the end of June, meaning iPhone and iPad users will be able to receive weather warnings once their device runs iOS 6. There is also an option to opt out of warnings in the Settings menu represented by the usual on/off iOS toggle button.

Alerts


Further details on the new emergency alert system in iOS 6 are unknown as Apple did not detail the new feature at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this week.

The U.S. government's Wireless Emergency Alert system went live just last month. Carriers already offer users the ability to receive alerts to customers via text message, without the need for support from mobile operating systems.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member


    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating a surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

  • Reply 2 of 42


    Not only does this allow the govt to send you alerts, but they can also turn off your phone if there's a threat. This is similar to countries turning off the internet when people speak out against the govt.


     


    SOPA!

  • Reply 3 of 42


    Wow FINALLY a feature that everyone gets. Although it's completely worthless..

  • Reply 4 of 42
    maltzmaltz Posts: 138member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post


    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 



     


    I know you're think you're joking but you're not.  The cell phone network already does that.  Well, the cell phone companies charge a fee, but don't demand a warrant.


     


    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/us/police-tracking-of-cellphones-raises-privacy-fears.html?pagewanted=all

  • Reply 5 of 42
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    I wonder how it knows to send you a message. If your phone number is in an area code in California but you happen to be in Colorado at the time when an emergency wild fire notification goes out for Colorado residents, what criteria do they use to send the message to mobiles?


     


    The reason I ask is that I was in a location that the Police sent out a message that a prisoner had broken out of jail and was seen in my neighborhood but I didn't get the message. a) We don't have a home land line, only have iPhones, which didn't work with the emergency system. b) They only sent the message to land lines anyway.


     


     


    Edit:


     


    ------------------------


    Verizon FAQ:


    I have a device compatible with Wireless Emergency Alert. I am traveling today, but I did not receive an alert. Why?


    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are geographically targeted. Only subscribers with WEA capable devices operating within the targeted alert zone will receive alerts. 



    WEA capable devices operating outside of the targeted geographical areas will not receive those alerts.


    ------------------------


    Now if only they had advance earthquake warnings  image


     

  • Reply 6 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    scotty321 wrote: »
    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

    Why is it that the lunatic fringe has to pop up all the time?

    Your statement is ridiculous. Maybe you live in an area that doesn't have natural disasters, but not everyone is so lucky. There's a substantial business selling weather radios in my state and surrounding states so people can be warned of tornados.

    For me, this is great news. I was planning to go out and buy a new weather radio and I no longer have to. In addition, when my daughter rid at my ex's house, they don't have a weather radio, but if her iPod Touch will run iOS 6 and receive these alerts, it's an extra degree of safety.

    The only thing is that I hope it's more flexible than a weather radio. In my area, we get enough severe thunderstorm, flash flood, tornado, and hail alerts that it's sometimes difficult to get a solid block of sleep - which is why many people who have these radios turn them off. Frankly, I don't care about thunderstorms or flash floods, so I hope it will allow me to select only tornado alerts (preferably just tornado warnings and not tornado watches, as well).
  • Reply 7 of 42
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post


    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 





    Tin foil hat pinching a little today?

  • Reply 8 of 42
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I wonder how it knows to send you a message. If your phone number is in an area code in California but you happen to be in Colorado at the time when an emergency wild fire notification goes out for Colorado residents, what criteria do they use to send the message to mobiles?



     


    When you're in Colorado, you're connected to the mobile network there. They are probably sending out messages to phones connected in specific areas.

  • Reply 9 of 42
    jonoromjonorom Posts: 293member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    For me, this is great news. I was planning to go out and buy a new weather radio and I no longer have to. In addition, when my daughter rid at my ex's house, they don't have a weather radio, but if her iPod Touch will run iOS 6 and receive these alerts, it's an extra degree of safety.


     


    I wouldn't give up on the radio idea so fast. One of the things that happened during the Northeast Blackout in August 2003 was that cell towers (at least in NYC) pretty quickly went down, and of course all plug-in TVs and radios didn't work. That left most everyone without any way to get news. It was scary that night in NYC, in the pitch black among 20 million assorted people, with no news and no light anywhere.


     


    However, you were very popular if you had a battery radio.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    scotty321 wrote: »
    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

    They can already track your phone.
  • Reply 11 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post


    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 



     


    Lights up weed from his alien cigarette lighter. Looks over shoulder nervously. Is that guy following me?

  • Reply 12 of 42
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member


    I'm glad Apple's doing this for my 3GS. I'd wondered if it might be too old.


     


    If weather alerts become part of this, I hope Apple will let users configure which alerts they get  like the better weather alert radios. If we can't we're likely to be bother us more often than we like. Then we'll turn the blasted thing off altogether.


     


    If you're not in boating, it makes to turn off small craft advisories since they come all the time. And if you live on high ground, you may not need flood warnings. Where I live in Seattle, if you turn those off you can go for months without being bothered.


     


    One difficulty with weather alerts though. The coding applies to particular VHF weather channels and thus for a specific area around each. Go somewhere else, and they have other meanings, i.e. what river basin is flooding. That may not translate well to a cellular service.

  • Reply 13 of 42
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    cookiepuss wrote: »
    Not only does this allow the govt to send you alerts, but they can also turn off your phone if there's a threat. This is similar to countries turning off the internet when people speak out against the govt. SOPA!

    Nope.

    Turn off the networks? Sure, probably. Is that legal? No. Can they do it? Again, probably.

    But they can't turn off my devices.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


     


    It was scary that night in NYC, in the pitch black among 20 million assorted people, with no news and no light anywhere.


     



    Then 9 months later there was like 1000% increase in in pregnant women in the maternity rooms at the hospitals in NYC.

  • Reply 15 of 42
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    Nope.

    Turn off the networks? Sure, probably. Is that legal? No. Can they do it? Again, probably.

    But they can't turn off my devices.


    They probably could perform remote wipe or even brick it if Apple was ordered to do it by a Judge.


     


    They do have the ability to not let you use the cell network. After 911 they instituted a security feature that only allows emergency workers to use the cell network during a disaster.

  • Reply 16 of 42
    pjanderspjanders Posts: 37member


    You can program weather radios to respond differently to different alarms. At least you can with the Midland WR-300.


     


    If you have alarms sounding that you determine are not life threatening you can program the radio to turn off the audible alarm and just have it turn the warning light on for a silent notification of an alert.


     


    The local radio station I listen to also interrupts programming using the Emergency Alert System warning tone when weather threatens and begins broadcasting the warning from the National Weather Service just like my WR-300.

  • Reply 17 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pjanders View Post


    You can program weather radios to respond differently to different alarms. At least you can with the Midland WR-300.


     


    If you have alarms sounding that you determine are not life threatening you can program the radio to turn off the audible alarm and just have it turn the warning light on for a silent notification of an alert.


     


    The local radio station I listen to also interrupts programming using the Emergency Alert System warning tone when weather threatens and begins broadcasting the warning from the National Weather Service just like my WR-300.



     


    Weather radios are a great addition to one's emergency kit. Cell phones are another. They both serve different functions while overlapping in some.  

  • Reply 18 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member


    The one thing I've wanted for the iPod touch (and even though I don't have one, the iPhone) was AM/FM radio built in. If the cell network or Internet goes down, it would be nice to have the option.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post


    What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 



     


    I’ve done some quick math and decided that truly insane conspiracy theories are as common as trolls. 50/50 this is a serious post.


     


    If they’re going to track you... wouldn’t they just track you? How on earth does this feature help them do so? And how would the data reach the government in a way no techie user or honest tech company (are they ALL in on it?) could ever detect and blow the whistle?


     


    And if you somehow worry about this, there are far worse things to imagine: They could also put GPS chips into things you don’t even know have them. Be sure to avoid belt buckles, shoes, and pens! You know those sealed Nike+ transmitters? Tiny devices with the battery built in. You could easily put a GPS and battery into anything. The GPS you know exists is hardly the scariest one! If, that is, you think tracking you is somehow worth both the cost and scandal risk to ALL the many people who would have to be involved in such a massive conspiracy. I know tracking me aint’ worth it :)


     


    (Government employees surely do surveil individuals wrongly at times... But I don’t see how this helps them. There are laws that trouble me greatly and need to be overturned. But weather/disaster alerts? Might save my life!)


     


    Rule of thumb: if a conspiracy requires thousands of people to be in on it, at all different levels of numerous different organizations, it’s probably all in your head. Secrets can be kept among 2 people, 20 people... not 2000 people.


     


    Or maybe 2000 people CAN keep a secret, and I’m one of them... :p

  • Reply 20 of 42
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Oops—double!
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