National test Emergency Alerts system - Sunday 23 April at 15:00

455 days ago

There will be a national test of the UK’s new Emergency Alerts system on Sunday 23 April at 15:00: the broadcast may be active until 16:00 (phones will only receive the alert once).

The test alert will be sent to most mobile phones across the UK. Devices will make a distinct, siren-like sound for up to 10 seconds, including on phones switched to silent mode.

Phones will also vibrate and display a message about the test. You can hear an example of what the test will look and sound like in this video (English only).

For further information, please visit About Emergency Alerts - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby.

In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.

About Emergency Alerts - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Here’s a BSL video what to expect as part of the test alert:

Emergency Alert System - YouTube

Frequently Asked Questions

 

I am a domestic abuse victim and need to conceal my phone. How can I stop it from going off?

It is possible to opt out of the system if you need your phone to stay concealed.

Can I opt out? 

Emergency Alerts use several channels and the ability to opt in or out is determined by the channel type. However, we strongly recommend that people do not opt out of the service, as it is intended to warn you when lives are in danger.

Opt Out iPhone:

To opt out, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off Severe alerts and Emergency alerts.

If this does not work, contact your device manufacturer. 

For further advice go to gov.uk/alerts/opt-out. 

Opt Out Android phones and tablets:

To opt out, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off Severe alerts and Emergency alerts.

On Huawei devices running EMUI 11 or older, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and please turn off “Extreme threats”, “Severe threats” and “Show amber alerts”.

If this does not work, contact your device manufacturer. 

What languages will messages be broadcast in?

The primary language will be English. Sending dual language English/Welsh messages is also possible for alerts in Wales. We will continue to investigate the use of the technology for messages sent in other languages to increase the effectiveness and reach of the service.

I am visually or hearing impaired, will I know when I receive an Emergency Alert?

Yes. Emergency Alerts are designed to attract attention. This means 4G/5G capable devices (for criteria see above) use a loud, siren-like sound so people with visual impairments are not excluded. Some phones will also read out the message and can override volume settings. Emergency Alerts also use a distinct vibration type. Testing with users who have hearing aids demonstrated that the reserved tone is pronounced for those individuals in a unique way. For those with visual impairments screen magnification will also facilitate reading an Emergency Alert. 

I work with/am a parent of /am a carer of a person who may be distressed by this type of alert. How has this been taken into consideration?

As part of the public information campaign, the UK Government is working closely with stakeholders to ensure that the communities and people who are more likely to be distressed by this type of alert are made aware of the Emergency Alert service. If you can, we also advise you to identify vulnerable people living nearby who you can inform of the service.

Those who are vulnerable can also be directed to the website (gov.uk/alerts) for more information about Emergency Alerts, including what happens when you get an alert, reasons you might receive one and how it works. There is also an explainer video they can watch to find out more.