Last night you might have received the fright of your life when your phone starting making an alarming noise.

Or you may have not.

Civil Defence sent out a test emergency alert to cellphones around the country between 6pm and 7pm last night, but it turns out that not everyone got it.

Civil Defence says that roughly 2 million Kiwis should have received the message, but if you didn't, there are possible explanations other than Civil Defence not caring about your life.

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These could be why you didn't receive the alert:

- You've unselected Emergency Alerts on your smartphone

If you have an iPhone, open Settings, select Notifications and scroll all the way to the bottom. You should see a toggle for "Emergency Alerts". Make sure you have this selected.

If you have an Android you should be able to be located somewhere in the Settings menu. The option could be called Emergency Alerts, Emergency Broadcasts, Extreme Threats or Severe Threats. Once you've found it, make sure you have turned Emergency Alerts on.

- Your iPhone doesn't have the latest update

Check that your iPhone has iOS11 or later.

- Your phone isn't on the list of supported models

If you own a Huawei phone that isn't either the Nova 2i or the Mate 10, then you won't be able to receive the alert as Emergency Alerts is not yet available for most Huawei models.

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- You have an imported/overseas phone

If your cellphone was bought overseas or is an imported model, Emergency Alerts "may" work.