How to deactivate emergency alerts using VoiceOver – Vision Foundation
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How to deactivate emergency alerts using VoiceOver

At 3pm on Sunday, 23 April, there will be a national test of the UK government’s Emergency Alerts service. These alerts are designed to notify users if there is a danger to life nearby, this could be related to extreme weather warnings. Domestic abuse organisations are concerned about survivors who have hidden phones within the home. To avoid detection of these devices, survivors can turn off the alert function on their hidden device. You can still receive warning messages on your device that is not hidden if you wish.

We have created a video tutorial and list of instructions for iPhone users to turn off this function using VoiceOver, which you can find below. For android users, please see the video created by Blind Android Users embedded below.

iPhone/iOS Users:


Step 1

If you haven’t already, turn on VoiceOver. To do this, you can either press the circular home button or rectangular lock button on the device three times.

Step 2

Once VoiceOver is on, use one finger to swipe right through the main menu until you hear “settings.”

Step 3

When you hear “settings”, touch your finger twice on the screen to open this menu.

Step 4

Use your finger to swipe through the menu until you hear “notifications” and then double touch the screen again.

Step 5

Swipe your finger through the menu again until you hear “emergency alerts.” Note this may take a while to reach, depending on how many applications you have on your phone.

Step 6

When you hear “emergency alerts”, keep swiping until you hear “extreme alerts” and “severe alerts.”

Step 7

For each item, double touch your screen until you hear “off.” These will then be switched off.


For Android users:


Information and support

  • The Men’s Advice Line, on 0808 801 0327, is a confidential service for male victims of domestic abuse offering support help men keep themselves (and their children) safe.
  • The freephone, National Domestic Abuse Helpline is available 24-hours a day on 0808 2000 247.
  • If you are concerned about your behaviour or the behaviour of someone you know, there is support available, call the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040.
  • If you are in an immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.
  • Explore the BBC Action Line resource to find further support services.