Emergency Alerts

The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live and will be tested nationally on 23 April.

The system will enable people to be contacted via compatible mobile phone when lives are in danger and will be used to warn you in the event of emergencies, such as severe flooding.

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What shall I do when I receive the National Test Message?

When you receive the Welcome Message you do not need to take any action. You will hear a siren which will stop automatically after ten seconds. A welcome message will stay on screen until you acknowledge it, just like a ‘low battery’ warning.

After the test Emergency Alerts will only be sent to all compatible mobile phones within an area at risk of a serious threat such as severe flooding. They don’t track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data. Only the government and the emergency services will be able to send them. If you don’t have a mobile phone, you’ll still be kept informed through other channels.

If you do get an Emergency Alert in the future on your phone, you’ll hear a loud, siren-like sound. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and how best to respond. You’ll be able to check an alert is genuine at gov.uk/alerts

If you receive an alert, read the alert carefully and follow the instructions.

How can I unsubscribe from emergency alerts?

You can opt out of the emergency alerts system in your phone’s settings, just search for “emergency alerts”, and turn off “severe alerts” and “extreme alerts”. You will not receive alerts if your device is turned off or in airplane mode. However, these alerts are potentially life-saving so we recommend you keep them switched on.

If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert

  • You should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle.
  • If you are driving, you should continue to drive and not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.
  • Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.
It is illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.

You can find out more about Emergency Alerts here gov.uk/alerts https://www.gov.uk/alerts/about.cy

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