Didn't get the nationwide alert? This might be why, and here's how to fix it

Byby Brandon Behle and Michael Finney via KGO logo
Thursday, October 4, 2018
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Mobile phones sounded off across the United States, but some people didn't get the message. If you were one of these people, this might be why.

WASHINGTON (KGO) -- Mobile phones sounded off across the United States Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Emergency Management agency conducted an emergency alert test.

All of the nation's major mobile phone carriers had Wednesday FEMA alert, but many people tell ABC7 News that they didn't receive the alert. Other people got the alert multiple times.

RELATED: Presidential alert test sent by FEMA; new system lets presidents send notifications to your phone

The alert was not one that users can turn off but 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney says there are some possible causes for people not getting the alert:

  • Your phone wasn't near a cell tower
  • Your phone wasn't turned on
  • Your phone was in airplane mode
  • Older phones may not be Wireless Emergency Alert capable
  • Your software needs updating (iPhones need iOS 6 or newer to receive an emergency alert.)

However many consumers report their phones were none of those things and still did not get an alert.

FEMA estimated about 225 million electronic devices, or about 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, would receive the alert. It hasn't said yet whether the test went well.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.