What is the FR-Alert mobile phone emergency messaging system?

FR-Alert mobile phone emergency messaging system
Mobile phone emergency messaging

THE French authorities have launched the FR-Alert messaging system via mobile phones to send warnings about the weather, terrorist attacks and other life threatening dangers.

FR-Alert has been developed in partnership with French mobile phone operators and in time you may get a first message advising you of the launch of the service.

The system will work on a regional basis covering dangers such as flooding and storms, as well as possible chemical leaks, health warnings, severe road accidents, travel incidents and even possible terrorist incidents.

A key feature of FR-Alert is that it will work on a localised basis, ensuring people don’t get messages that are a long way from where they live, with the hope that people will take note when they do receive one.

Warning messages will provide advice and information on any steps you need to take, such as whether you should stay at home or evacuate the area.

Naturally the messages will be provided in French, but the authorities say that other languages will be provided should a dangerous event take place in an area that has a high foreign tourist population.

You will not need to download an application to your phone, the messages will come directly to your device, but they will not be able to bypass Airplane mode if it is set on your phone.

Updating iPhone for FR-Alert


For my own iPhone SE, which the screen grab above is from, I first updated the operating system on my phone to iOS 15.5.

Once this is complete you can then go into Settings > Notifications and scroll down the page to a section titled FR-ALERT where you will see the recognisable green slide buttons that allow you to turn on or off the notifications.

Interestingly despite my phone being set up to use the French language, the section is in English, and whilst messages about kidnapping alerts of young children are self-explanatory, I could not find out more about what the different threat levels mean.

Phones using the Android based operating system do not require an update and the FR-Alert section can also be found under the notifications section of settings.

Categorised as Web/Tech

By Craig McGinty

Thank you for reading This French Life, join me in living life the French way.