Verizon & Government scaring the hell out of people again with CMAS Alerts

Without warning their customers, Verizon has yet again scared the hell out of the public by sending out more bizarre Emergency CMAS Alerts. So far no one from Verizon has commented on whether or not the alerts are real, or another “test” of the system.

Earlier this year, Verizon caused panic in New Jersey when the accidentally sent out a CMAS Message that read: CMAS Alert. Civil Emergency in this area until 1:24 PM EST Take shelter now.”

The CMAS system was implemented by the Federal Government as a way to send location based targeted alerts to the general public, but so far it has caused nothing but controversy and confusion. The emergency alerts will be available in three categories – Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threats to Life and Property, and AMBER Alerts. Most cell phone providers will allow users to opt out of all message types, with the exception of presidential alerts.

UPDATE: A number of people have emailed us saying they got the alert, the message that they received seems to depend on their location and phone. In some cases the message said that it was a test emergency alert, and asked if you I want to receive them in the future. On some phones it simply said CMAS Alert without an explanation.


  1. Lisa
    February 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I got one about an hour ago and it freaked me out. Mine said nothing about it being a test and I only found out it was a test after calling the local sheriif. He told me it was a test and that they got cals all afternoon.

    I do have an older phone but if they can’t figure out how to send these messages to everyone the same way then maybe it,s time to rework the system

    • JoePrepper
      February 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      It’s more than likely your phone. I got the message here in Northern Ca. on an Iphone and it gave me options. My wife called me from work freaking out because her phone only had the CMAS warning.

  2. La Michelle
    February 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I was just finishing up my Advanced Cardiac Life Support class at the hospital when I received the text. I wondered what was going on but since the hospital was not announcing for us to take cover and put our patients in a secure area I figured out it was a test. I later received a “TEST” text.

  3. Mel
    February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I’m in south-central Wisconsin and got a test message, which said it WAS a test. Even if it hadn’t specified “test” and was blank, I probably would have assumed it was a test. If I was unsure because of local events or weather, I would have checked the local news (tv or online), or called city police or county sheriff. What exactly is “scaring the hell out of people”? If a glitched text message is so traumatic, I strongly recommend reestablishing connections with the real world.

    • Lisa
      February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Well congratulations on being so tough. I’m not afraid to admit that the message scared me. With so much going on in the world you would have to be a robot not to be a little concerned at a message like this. And I’m sorry but a glitched message is a big deal. The last glitch told people to take shelter immediately.

      These glitches cause panic and eventually are going to cause serious problems. Either someone is gonna get hurt or people will not take it serious when a real emergency message comes through

      • church
        February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        glitch……..lmfao….that’s what the gov.wants for people to jump every time they yell….the glitch when its real will come to late you will know something wrong in your area before the gov.dose……lord have mercy on this people……..BOO….lmfao

    • Mountain Mom
      February 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      It’s not traumatic but it does cause panic and problems. And Lisa’s right how many glitches before people tune out? Not everyone’s a survival expert and a sense of panic is normal symptom that most people experience.

  4. PissedOFFAmerican
    February 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I Got the Alert and while I wasn’t scared I was VERY PISSED OFF. I tried to opt out for these stupid things but it won’t allow you to uncheck the Presidential Alerts.

    What the hell is a Presidential Alert? Sounds like Communist China to me. Who the hell gave them permission to text me with alerts from the President?

    They can keep their propaganda to themselves. This has nothing to do with warning people of emergencies and everything to do with controlling the way people think. I would have actually signed up for the emergency alerts but once I seen this presidential crap I will not be signing up. And since I can’t OPT OUT of the Propaganda alerts I think I might just have to toss my cell phone in the dumpster.

    • church
      February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      finally a smart one…..TOSS it….we live without cell phones for thousands of year….

    • Informed
      February 17, 2012 at 6:39 am

      Presidential Alert is not propaganda by any means. CMAS alerts are not marketing. A Presidential Alert will occur every once in a 9/11. The Alert sent yesterday was a Required Monthly Test sent nationally in preparation for commercial ready date of 4/7/12 set by the FCC. Only mobiles programmed to receive the test messages should receive them (you must go into the program mode of your phone to activate). There are device issues that are allowing the CMAS messages to go to real subscribers.

  5. Tricia
    February 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    My husband and I both got the text at the same time. It said “more info” and when my husband clicked, a screen came up that said ” Presidential Alerts Mandatory” and then several other options.
    Made me angry.
    Monday, February 20th, 2012, Hillsdale College is holding an online class on the Constitution. We all need to sign up and then use the knowledge to stand up for our rights.

    • Founding Hero
      February 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      These bastards stopped caring about the constitution long ago. I’m so fed up with this constant asault on our lives. You can’t go anywhere without them trying to invade your life in some fashion.

      I got the alert today while I was fishing. Tried to opt out and judt like others have said could not opt out of pres alerts. I was beyond mad.

      Let’s just say there is a fish somewhere with a new cell phone. That’s how fed up I am. Just hoked up the old CB in the truck told her if she’s needs me she knows how to find me on ch.19

  6. Brinker
    February 17, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I had it happen three times today in Western Washington. The first time was while I was on a call, and I could not figure out what the noise was. I was able to find there was apparently some sort of test message. The second and third times my phone completely locked up requiring the battery to be removed to get the phone to work again. I am paying for a functional cell phone and if they cannot provide this, perhaps I should stop using the phone. Someone needs to come up with a phone that has the phone circuitry separate from the computing part without allowing the cell companies to access what they really do not need to access. Then the user can opt out of whatever he/she wants.

  7. Hannibal
    February 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Have new Verizon Droid. Rec’d 2 yesterday, 1 minute apart. I did not activate it as 1 user claimed above. It was on already. All Verizon users at work rec’d same, AT&T or iphone users did not. “TEST” would have been nice since we are all Emergency Responders living in a Tsunami/Earthquake and Volcanic Activity area. I understand a testing period before activation in full, but come on guys get your stuff together and get it right. People are calling 911 and their local responders and clogging up the lines when real life emergencies may be calling for assistance! I hope no one really needed assitance and couldn’t get through because of all of this!

    Before you guys didn’t want the general public to know anything that would cause a panic. Now you want to Text everyone w/ a cell phone???

    HURRY UP and get the 700mhz D-Block going!!!

  8. Effing bogus
    February 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    LOL – just disable or uninstall the app all together as it seems to be just another legacy of the Bush fear mongering and probably an excuse for obtaining location information on each phone.

  9. ekg
    April 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    i just got one CT…

    when has our govt. ever REALLY told us what they’re up to??

  10. dominick marchiola
    July 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Please stop sending cmas alerts to my phone dont know how it got on my phone but dont want it please cancel me

  11. crystal carabajal
    July 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    This thing is so annoying! they send me alerts that aren’t even for my area! How do I get rid of it?!

  12. Jan
    December 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I’ve been reading these comments & (understandably)people are upset about these alerts.I read they just started them nationwide last year(2011).I think people should give them time to refine the sysetm before they complain about it.I’m going to activate my aleerts,i’d rather know what’s going on(I don’t have a workking TV).Instead of calling 911 check ojut your local weather.Panic is understandible,but think about where you live.Where I live if there were a floodhere thered be not lower Northside or Downtown or a lot of other low lieing places.I’m not interested in the government,but if people don’t like it move somewhere ealse or work to get a better one.Think about this too:if something happens & you didn’t get an alert from this system your gonna be pissed off because you didn’t get one!I don’t expect a lot of people will agree with me,but dontg get on my case about it.This is just my opinion.

  13. John
    March 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I have gotten several that were not for my area including Blizzard alerts. Got one today saying it was going to snow. just snow. Who would have thought it being February and it’s cold and cloudy outside. What a useless waste of time.

  14. Steve
    March 20, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Presidental alerts are mandatory because they are alerts of the highest importance, example. One would have been used during 9/11 as someone else pointed out. Likely one would be used for the Oklahoma city bombing if the technology was available back then. Natural disasters are not presidential alerts. Presidental alerts are mandatory because it would be a serious emergency if one ever gets sent out. A cell phone is a radio. Why anyone would disable emergency alerts is beyond me. And trying to “opt out” of Presidential Alerts is simple stupidity. It’s not like you are going to get a message about fund raising for pete’s sake. More like “North Korea missile launch, US Air Force attempting to intercept, take cover immediately and only use phones for emergency purposes.” Receiving “test” messages can be enabled or disabled. Personally I’m enabling them to make sure I get important life threatening alerts. Think about it…you’ll get serious alerts faster than an emergency radio will give them to you… My God why would you want to disable THAT?

  15. Jim
    June 19, 2013 at 7:17 am

    All I have to say is …

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. – Benjamin Franklin

  16. James Hankins
    August 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

    It’s easy to spot the democrats here. If you must have a cell phone, then keep it off until you have a need to use it, then turn it off again when finished, and use it very briefly. Prepare for each day such that you don’t need a cell phone. Don’t go anywhere unprepared, and a cell phone is not part of being prepared.

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