LATEST: Mass emergency phone alert message

April 17, 2023


The Government’s mass phone emergency alert system takes place on April 23 at 3pm.

The message will be received on every phone with a message, sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds.

The message 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.”

The system will be used to inform people of an emergency, severe weather or potential security threat in order to keep oneself and others safe.

A Government statement said: “For the test, the public does not need to take any action – the sound and vibration will stop automatically after ten seconds.

“All people need to do is swipe away the message or click ‘OK’ on their phone’s home screen – just like for a ‘low battery’ warning or notification – and continue to use their phone as normal.

“Best practice of Emergency Alerts in other countries have shown that they work more effectively when there is a real emergency if people have previously received a test, so they know what an alert looks and sounds like.”

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden MP, said:
“At 3pm next Sunday we’ll be doing a nationwide test of our new Emergency Alerts system.

“Getting this system operational means we have a vital tool to keep the public safe in life-threatening emergencies. It could be the sound that saves your life.”

Such alerts are already in use in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan.

Chief Fire Officer Alex Woodman, Lead for Local Resilience Forums at the National Fire Chiefs Council, commented: “We must use every tool at our disposal to keep people safe, and we need everyone to play their part – and the new Emergency Alerts system is one way we can do this.

“For 10 seconds, the national test may be inconvenient for some, but it’s important, because the next time you hear it – your life, and the life-saving actions of our emergency services, could depend on it.”

The Government has worked together with the emergency services and partners, including the Football Association and London Marathon, to make sure the national test has minimum impact on major events taking place on the day.


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