Yesterday, I switched off all AMBER and Emergency iPhone Alerts in Settings > Notification Center. This followed a day and a night of flash flood warnings that started at 1AM and continued until just after noon.

In that time, I count 8 individual Emergency Alerts issued by the National Weather Service in my personal notification center. These included alerts in the middle of the night and alerts as I was in office buildings, waiting for appointments or having meetings.

Since AT&T pushed out its Emergency Alert upgrade to support my iPhone 4S, I have received alerts for a variety of weather situations plus that abduction one from California. I can not point to a single alert in my history that I considered necessary to receive on a phone rather than seeing on the TV or by hearing the local tornado alarms.

I cannot customize the alerts I hear. It’s all on or all off for AMBER and/or emergency items. These alerts are loud, scary, intrusive and blunt.

I think my alert-burn out is pretty human. When people get tired of alerts that aren’t relevant, they’re going to shut them off. Emergency alerts by their very nature should be few, important, and effective. As is, they’ve become the spam of disaster preparedness.

And I’ve just sent mine to my virtual alert spam folder.

Crying wolf: when emergency alerts stop being effective originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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