Phones and tablets across the country will sound for ten seconds as part of a nationwide test of the National Alarm at 3 p.m. on Sunday 23rd April,
This is being used to alert users to an emergency notification, which will appear on the screen. The alarm will sound even if you have your phone or tablet on silent or vibrate. The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds. The alert looks and sounds different to other types of messages such as SMS text messages.
Future Emergency Alerts are planned to be sent to all compatible 4G and 5G mobile phones or tablets within an area of risk. They don’t track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data. You’ll know it’s an Emergency Alert because you’ll hear a loud, siren-like sound and your phone will use a distinct vibration. A message will appear on your screen until you acknowledge it.
The alert will also include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
When it goes off, expect your mobile phone or tablet to:
- Make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
- Read out the alert
However, domestic abuse charities have issued warnings that the test may endanger domestic abuse victims and urging people living with abusers to disable the alerts or switch their phones and tablets off beforehand.
- Search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’
- Turn off ‘severe alerts’ and ‘extreme alerts.’
You will also not receive an alert if:
- Your phone is turned off or in airplane mode
- You’re connected to a 2G or 3G network
- You’re using Wi-Fi only (so not connected to a network)
The sound you will hear is shared here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvZM-oCReu8&t=4s
In a real-life situation – meaning not a trial and when danger is flagged – an alarm will go off, sharing advice with how to stay safe depending on the situation. In future you may get alerts about:
- Severe flooding
- Extreme weather
Emergency alerts will only be sent by:
- Emergency services
- Government departments, agencies, and public bodies that deal with emergencies