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I have struggled to find clear information about exactly what settings affect whether various emergency alerts are received or not. Even getting a definitive list of alerts is not as simple as it should be. From what I understand, there are two main types of alert - cell broadcasts and Google crisis alerts (which include earthquake alerts). Cell broadcasts do not require wifi or mobile data, but Google crisis alerts do require either wifi or mobile data.

Questions I have are:

  1. Does Battery Saver delay or prevent the receipt of either type of alert?
  2. Does Do Not Disturb prevent the receipt of either type of alert?
  3. Does either type of alert requires location access (GPS) to be enabled at all times (or is wifi sufficient for determining location)?
  4. What apps, services etc. are involved in receiving the alerts, what minimum permissions do they need and what settings need to be enabled?

I think that for these alerts to be as useful as they can be in saving lives, this information should be absolutely clear and available in one place. In fact, all necessary settings etc. should be configurable from within one app on Android with an option to reset required settings to ensure receipt of all types of emergency alert.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate answers to the above questions.

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  • On my Pixel 6a, Android 14,there is a setting "wireless emergency alerts", which covers all alerts. One can enable or disable from there
    – beeshyams
    Dec 19, 2023 at 4:57
  • So I guess it depends on your OS. I don't know which make/model/OS you are running, so if you don't have a central place for this, it's upto to the OEM//BTW, it doesn't ask to enable any settings of the type you mentioned so either they are not applicable or the feature takes care of them//AFAIK, no special settings are required only a valid SIM since these are sent over mobile signal. Not even mobile data//My operator bugged the hell out of me by repeatedly sending test alerts, and that's when I searched for this and disabled all alerts
    – beeshyams
    Dec 19, 2023 at 5:01
  • More info here source.android.com/docs/core/ota/modular-system/cell broadcast // This system app cell broadcast on my device has location and service permissions
    – beeshyams
    Dec 19, 2023 at 5:57
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    @beeshyams Thanks. "Wireless emergency alerts" are one of the types of alert. The other look like they come through the Google app - if you open it and go to settings and then notifications, you can see "Public Alerts - severe weather and crisis alerts". On my device (Motorola Edge 40) there is also a "Safety & Emergency" setting, where "Crisis alerts" and "Earthquake alerts" can be activated. How those interact with the setting in the Google app I don't know. On top of all that you have the app permissions for "Wireless Emergency Alerts" and the "Google" app. Settings are all over the place.
    – mcarans
    Dec 19, 2023 at 20:20

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