Emergency situations can occur at any time, and being prepared is crucial for personal safety. In the UK, the Emergency Alerts service is a government-run initiative designed to quickly notify citizens of potential dangers in their area. By sending alerts to mobile devices, the service provides critical information on how to stay safe during emergency situations. In this way, the Emergency Alerts service helps to protect citizens and reduce the impact of emergencies. To ensure that the system is effective, a national test is scheduled for Sunday, April 23rd, 2023, to ensure that the Emergency Alerts service is fully operational and able to deliver timely alerts during emergency situations.
The Emergency Alerts service
The Emergency Alerts service in the UK is designed to notify you if there is a threat to your life in your vicinity. In the event of an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert containing guidance on how to stay safe.
To send you an alert, the government does not require your phone number or location. Alerts may be issued for various reasons, such as severe flooding, fires, or extreme weather. Emergency alerts will only be sent by emergency services and government entities responsible for handling crises.
When you receive an emergency alert, your mobile phone or tablet may emit a loud siren-like sound, vibrate, or read out the alert. The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds. The alert will also provide a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for additional information.
Emergency alerts will be sent based on your current location, not your home or workplace. Location services need not be enabled to receive alerts.
If you receive an emergency alert, it’s important to stop whatever you’re doing and follow the instructions provided in the alert. However, if you’re driving or riding a motorcycle, it’s illegal to read or respond to the alert while on the road. Instead, you should continue driving and find a safe and legal place to stop before checking the message.
If you don’t have a compatible device, the emergency services will still find other ways to warn you about an impending danger. Emergency alerts do not replace other sources of information, such as local news, radio, television, or social media.
For those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or partially sighted, audio and vibration attention signals will indicate the presence of an emergency alert. Emergency alerts will be sent in English, and in Wales, they may also be sent in Welsh.
To learn more about how emergency alerts work, service tests, current and past alerts, you can visit the related content section.