Here is a little info on setting alerts using the STSADM command (from the Windows SharePoint Services Admin Guide). It can also check/change many other settings. Take a look:
You can manage alerts from the command line by using the GetProperty and SetProperty operations with Stsadm.exe. You can set the following properties to configure how alerts work.
Property —-> Description
alerts-enabled —-> Turn alerts on or off.
alerts-limited —-> Specify whether users are limited to a specific
number of alerts.
alerts-maximum —-> Specify the maximum number of alerts users can create.
job-immediate-alerts —-> Specify how often to check for immediate
alerts (in minutes).
job-daily-alerts —-> Specify the time of day (using a 24-hour clock)
to send out daily alerts.
job-weekly-alerts —-> Specify the day of the week and time of day
(using a 24-hour clock) to send out
The following example shows the syntax to use to turn off alerts:
stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url