FAQ IT-alert

This section provides the answers to the frequently asked questions on IT-alert, updated on 7 November 2023

IT-alert is the new public warning system that provides immediate information to the population. It broadcasts alert messages to mobile phones in a specific geographical area in case of upcoming or ongoing major emergencies or disasters. Once broadcast, the IT-alert message is received by anyone within the area affected by the emergency who has a cell phone switched on and connected to phone cells.

From February 13, 2024, the IT-alert system is operational only for the following civil protection risks:    

•  Nuclear accident or radiological emergency situation
•  Major accidents at industrial facilities
•  Collapse of a large dam
•  Volcanic activity in the areas of the Phlegraean Fields, Vesuvius, and at the island of Vulcano  

For the following risks, the testing phase is extended for one year:

•  Earthquake-generated tsunami 
•  Stromboli volcanic activity  
•  Heavy rainfall 

IT-alert messages are supported by cell-broadcast technology, a one-way, wide-ranging communication mode of short text messages provided in today's mobile phone networks. Thanks to this technology, IT-alert messages can be sent within a group of geographically close telephone cells, bounding an area as close as possible to the area affected by the event, either expected or in progress. To receive an IT-alert message, the device must be switched on, charged, have phone connection and be in the affected area. The cell broadcast also works in cases of limited connection or telephone band saturation.

Alarm and video surveillance systems, usually do not have cell broadcast technology and therefore do not receive IT-alert messages, even if they are equipped with sim cards. The cell broadcast functionality, in fact, is implemented on the telephone devices and not on the sim cards installed on them.

No, IT-alert is not an SMS.
IT-alert uses broadcast propagation. The great advantage of this technology is that it works also when the network is congested. Mobile phone transmission is free and anonymous: you do not need to register and your number remains unknown. There are therefore no privacy implications because no personal data is collected.
When the IT-alert notification reaches the device, it temporarily blocks all other functions of the mobile phone. To bring the device back to normal use, it is necessary to tap on the notification and confirm the receipt.

According to the device and operating system version you have, the IT-alert message should remain recorded in the emergency alert notification list and can be searched on devices by typing "emergency alert or alert".

In any case, remember that the text of the IT-alert message can also be found in real-time on this website and at www.ptotezionecivile.gov.it/en.


No, to receive the IT-alert message you do not need to download any app.

No, you do not need to register online to receive the IT-alert message .

Yes, if the device is on and has signal. If the cell phone is silent, however, the arrival of the IT-alert message may not be signaled through the specific sound.

No, to receive the IT-alert message, the device must be on and have signal.

No, to receive the IT-alert message, the device must be on and have signal.

No, to receive the IT-alert message, the device must be on and have signal.

No, it is necessary to have signal to receive the IT-alert message.

No, it is not possible to reply to the IT-alert message.

Depending on the type and implementation, you may receive IT-alert on your smartwatch if it is connected to your main device or if it is equipped with a micro sim.

Depending on the type and implementation, you may receive IT-alert on your tablet if it is connected to your main device or if it is equipped with a micro sim.

No, it is not possible to receive IT-alert on your PC.

No, it is not necessary to have geolocation active to receive IT-alert message.

The scope of the tests is precisely to check, among other things, for potential mistakes in sending/receiving IT-alert messages. If you are in an area subject to testing with the device switched on and have not received the IT-alert message, we ask you to fill out the survey on the homepage of this website.

For more information you can call our Contact Center at the tool-free number 800 840 840.

To receive IT-alert messages, including messages of the testing phase, you don't have to do anything on your smartphone. Even if the IT-alert setting - found on your device in the section containing emergency notifications - is turned off, the messages will still reach your devices since the highest action level for sending is used.

If you receive an IT-alert message during the test activity, you do not have to do nothing specific, only fill out  the questionnaire to provide us with relevant information to implement the system.

The message will arrive on the devices, switched on and connected, located in the areas involved in the test activities. A limit of the cell-broadcast technology used to send IT-alert messages is the lack of a perfect overlap between the area estimated to be potentially affected by the emergency and the area covered by the telephone operators' antennas used to send messages. This means that there will be devices present in areas outside the region covered by the tests that could receive an IT-alert message. So, for example, although the test area is Tuscany, it is possible that messages will also arrive on devices in Liguria, Lazio or other neighbouring regions. Due to system limitations, it may also happen that devices present in areas affected by the test do not receive the message.

The approximate time for carrying out the tests is noon. On devices present in areas affected by the tests but temporarily out of signal.

The reasons you received the test message later than announced may be different, for example:
- You were using flight mode on the phone or the device was turned off.
- You were temporarily out of the affected area but accessed it slightly later.

Suppose you did not receive the IT-alert message, also during the testing phase, and you were in an affected area. In that case, we kindly ask you to report it by filling out the survey, which can be found on the homepage of this website from noon on the test day until noon the following day, so that we can implement the system.

For more information you can call our Contact Center at the tool-free number 800 840 840.

No, IT-alerts will not provide indications of weather conditions. For weather, hydraulic and hydrogeological civil protection alerts (yellow, orange and red alerts), it has already been possible to consult bulletins issued daily by the National Warning System and available at https://rischi.protezionecivile.gov.it/en/meteo-hydro/alert/ and on regional websites.

If during the test phase you receive an IT-alert message while you are driving, if there is someone with you ask them to view the message for you. In the event, however, that you are driving alone, do not interact with your smartphone; when you are able to stop safely and confirm the receipt by clicking on the message.

You can report it to the Civil Protection Department, that is coordinating, together with the phone operators, the activities on the technological infrastructure, through the following online form: https://www.protezionecivile.gov.it/it/dipartimento/contact-center/scrivi-al-contact-center/

Yes, it is possible to disable the receipt of notifications. This choice, however, has no implications on the reception of IT-alert messages at this stage, since the highest level of priority for sending notifications is used, which is independent from the notification setting.

No, IT-alert does not entail any impairment of privacy levels.

The IT-alert message reaches all devices in areas covered by the phone network. You cannot receive the IT-alert message if the device has no service, even if there is wi-fi connection.

The warning message should arrive if the device is turned on and has a phone connection. However, all public warning systems have some limitations also linked to the available technological abilities: it could, therefore, happen that a message addressed to a given area is received on devices also located in a neighboring area, not interested in the event, or, on the contrary, it could happen that a device present in the involved area does not receive the message because that specific area does not fall in a phone cell activated by the system.

No, it should be always reminded that the IT-alert message will not be the only information system, but will complement those already in use, even and especially at the local level, in different emergency situations.

Yes, they can hear messages as long as message reading is set in the accessibility settings. It is also possible to confirm the listening through voice command.

Tests have found that older generation and non-smartphone phones also receive the IT-alert notification. In this case, to fill out the survey you will need to access www.it-alert.gov.it/en from another device provided with Internet connection.

No, IT-alert alone is not enough. An IT-alert message is a danger warning issued to a wide population and is independent of individuals' awareness of exposure and vulnerability conditions.

Remember: risk is the output of danger, exposure, and vulnerability.

IT-alert requires risk awareness by those receiving the messages, which comes through knowledge of the territory, civil protection planning, and how to behave in emergency situations. Please, inform yourself at www.iononrischio.gov.it/en.