What to Do When You Get an iPhone Amber Alert

iPhone Amber Alerts automatically push important alerts about missing children directly to iPhones causing phones to emit a loud noise and display a small alert on-screen.

Now that AT&T offers iPhone Amber Alerts most U.S. carriers are on board with the important emergency alerts. These alerts arrive on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 as well as on many Android devices.

This is an important tool for helping identify and track down missing children, but the alerts don’t always include all the information users need to be of help to officials.

A sample iPhone Amber Alert.

A sample iPhone Amber Alert.

If you receive an iPhone Amber Alert, there will be a small amount of information such as a child’s description or the description of a car and a license plate, but not much else. The Amber Alert on iPhone is limited to a certain number of characters like a text message. The alerts show up on the lock screen and Notification Center with a hazard triangle next to it to indicate this is an emergency alert.


There is no charge for Amber Alerts on the iPhone when delivered through this method. This Emergency alert method also covers weather related emergencies, though it does not cover things like a Thunderstorm warning.

Users will see an Amber Alert on the iPhone based on their location, which means if an Amber Alert is issued in New York City while you are traveling there, you will see an alert, even if your billing zip code is in Ohio. Emergency alerts work the same way.

If you get an iPhone Amber Alert, the best place to go for more information is AmberAlert.gov and MissingKids.com. Both of these websites will deliver new information about the Amber alert to your iPhone.

The free iPhone Amber Alert app offers more information.

The free iPhone Amber Alert app offers more information.

There is also a free Amber Alert iPhone app that offers more information about missing children. The app allows users to report a sighting directly from the app. This IPhone Amber Alert app has not been updated in several years, but appears to function.

If you did not get an Amber Alert on the iPhone, but a coworker did, you should make sure that Government Alerts are set to on. Grab the iPhone to get started. Go to Settings -> Notification Center -> Scroll down to Government Alerts and make sure Amber Alerts is marked on.

If this doesn’t solve the problem it is possible your carrier does not support the built-in iPhone Amber Alerts yet.