FEMA and the FCC are holding a nationwide emergency alert test October 4 at 2:20 PM ET—and that means Broadway matinees could quickly become a noisy mess just moments after shows begin—a Playbill reader's nightmare! Emergency alerts can make even a phone set to silent mode audibly ring and light up, so you'll need to do a little extra work to make sure you don't become an audience offender. Don't worry—it's not hard, and Patti LuPone thanks you in advance.
Whether you have an iPhone or Android, the most surefire way to prevent your phone from making noise is to turn it completely off rather than just setting it to silent. This is also the easiest and least involved method to make sure you're good during the October 4 test.
But if you want to keep your phone on and silenced, you can adjust some further settings to keep things quiet. If you're an iPhone user, head to Settings, and tap Notifications. Scroll all the way to the bottom, and tap Emergency Alerts. In the next screen, you want to make sure that "Always Play Sound" is toggled off. The gray circle should be on the left, and the slider area should not be green.
Android phones are a little trickier. You can turn alerts off by opening the Setting app, tapping Notifications, tapping Advanced, tapping Wireless Emergency Alerts, and then toggling Allow Alerts off. Some operating systems may also offer the option to toggle Play Sound on and off—and, obviously, this should be off to prevent a sound from happening. In the Android phones we have personally reviewed, there was no "Play Sound" option, so to play it safe we'd recommend keeping Android phones off until intermission at the very least.
Whether you have an iPhone or Android phone, emergency alerts are important, so you may want to consider putting any settings you change back following tomorrow's test.