Most mobile phones come equipped to receive national safety messages, known as Wireless Emergency Alerts. The option to receive these alerts, which come through text messages, is typically located in the settings application on a mobile phone.
Wireless Emergency Alerts come to equipped mobile phones in an area during an emergency. With this system, phone owners receive warnings to their mobile devices through the carrier for free, without having to download any applications or subscribing to any service. There are three different types of Wireless Emergency Alerts. The first type comes when there is an emergency, such as extreme weather, the second for an Amber Alert and the third when the President declares a national emergency.
Those who do not want these alerts have the option to stop emergency alerts and Amber Alerts. However, there is no option to stop Presidential alerts. These alerts are free and do not count towards any text message plans a person has through a carrier.
If a person does not have a mobile device enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts, there are other systems in place to receive safety messages. These include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio, the Emergency Alert System, news broadcasts and outdoor sirens. Many local and state public safety agencies also have alert systems in place.