A UK-wide emergency alert service is being tested at 3.00pm on Sunday 23 April.
The alerts will be sent directly to mobile phones across the UK to warn people about life-threatening events such as wildfires and severe flooding, the government has said.
The government said that the alerts will be secure, free to receive, and will not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data.
What happens when you get an emergency alert
Your mobile phone or tablet may:
- make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
- read out the alert
The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.
An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
You’ll get alerts based on your current location – not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.
What you need to do
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
- 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.
People who have their phones switched off will not receive the message – but it will sound if your phone is switched to silent.
It is possible to turn the alerts off, something domestic abuse charity Refuge is advising vulnerable people how to do ahead of the test.
For more information, visit the Government Emergency Alert website.