On Sunday 23 April 2023 at 3pm, there will be a national test of the UK Emergency Alerts service. This is a new service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby and give you advice on how to stay safe.
How does it work?
The UK Emergency Alerts service uses 4G and 5G mobile networks to send alerts to compatible phones and tablets within a specific area. You do not need to register or download an app to receive alerts. The government and emergency services do not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.
What will the alerts look like?
The alerts will appear on your home screen with a loud siren-like sound or vibration that will last for about 10 seconds. The sound and vibration are designed to get your attention and alert you to a potential threat. The alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
Here is an example of what the test alert will say:
This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.
In a real emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe.
Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information.
This is a test. You do not need to take any action.
What should you do when you get an alert?
When you get an alert, stop what you’re doing and follow the instructions in the alert. If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert, find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. It’s illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.
What kind of emergencies will trigger an alert?
You may get alerts about:
• severe flooding
• extreme weather
• nuclear attack ☢️🚀
Emergency alerts will only be sent by:
• the emergency services
• government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies
Can you opt out of receiving alerts?
The government strongly recommends that you keep your device enabled to receive alerts, as they are a vital tool to keep you and others safe in life-threatening emergencies. However, if you wish to opt out, you can do so by searching your settings for “emergency alerts” and turning off “severe alerts” and “extreme alerts”.
How accessible are the alerts?
If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert. Emergency alerts will be sent in English. In Wales, they may also be sent in Welsh.
Where can you find out more?
For more information about the UK Emergency Alerts service, visit gov.uk/alerts.
I hope this blog post helps you understand the UK emergency alert system better. If you have any feedback or suggestions on how to improve it, please let me know.
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