woman speaking in car with caption 'EMERGENCY alert text on Wednesday October 4th' (l) hand holding phone with emergency alert text on screen (c) woman speaking in car with caption 'EMERGENCY alert text on Wednesday October 4th'(r)

Simone Hogan/Shutterstock @notyouraveragethrpst/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I used to have a hidden cell phone due to a DV issue’: Therapist issues PSA about tomorrow’s FEMA cell phone alert

'There are many people out there who have hidden cell phones for safety.'


Maya Wray


Posted on Oct 3, 2023

With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s national alert test just around the corner, one therapist has taken to TikTok to warn viewers who keep hidden cell phones for safety reasons.

In a viral video posted Sept. 28, user Kristin (@notyouraveragethrpst) informed viewers that the alert, which is scheduled to hit cell phones, radios, and television sets at around 2:20 p.m. Eastern Time on Oct. 4, will sound even if cell phones are on silent mode.


FEMA is having a national alert going out over TV, radio and cellular devices!! Please share with someone so they are aware!

♬ original sound – notyouraveragethrpst

“The only way to avoid this is if your phone is powered off,” the therapist urged over 3.1 million viewers as of Tuesday afternoon.

Acknowledging the importance of the alert test, she said it does still put any person with a cell phone hidden in their home “at risk.”

“I know that there are many people out there who have hidden cell phones for safety. Domestic violence, sex trafficking, sex work, unsafe home situations, whatever it may be,” Kristin elaborates in her video. “I want to make sure that this makes it to as many people as possible.”

A commenter claimed that even if devices are powered down during the scheduled test time, the alert will still sound once the device is turned back on. 

“Honestly if you have the ability to remove the phone that’s probably the best option!” Kristin responded. 

According to yesterday’s FEMA press release, cell towers across the U.S. will transmit the test signal for half an hour, while the Emergency Alert System broadcast will last one minute across all televisions and radios.

“During this time, WEA-compatible wireless phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless provider participates in WEA, should be capable of receiving the test message,” the press release states. 

“A unique tone and vibration” will announce the test alerts, it continued. 

Those who are unable to remove their phones from their homes and who may be triggered by the alert sound should take the device into another room or cover it with an object like a pillow, Kristin advised in an interview with Daily Dot.

Addressing confusion surrounding her video, she reiterated that turning off one’s cell phone during the test is “a personal choice” and that her intention was to spread awareness for those in unsafe situations who relied on hidden cell phones for any reason.

“If the sound is not something that is going to put you at risk or cause harm to you, then you don’t need to turn off your phone,” Kristin told Daily Dot.

Viewers commended Kristin for spreading the word and allowing them to plan ahead. “I used to have a hidden cell phone due to a DV issue. Thank you for sharing this for those that need it,” one wrote. 

“So thankful this came across my fyp bc my friend has a trap phone and she wouldn’t have known,” another added. 

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*First Published: Oct 3, 2023, 1:50 pm CDT