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UK Emergency Alert system going live

The Government has launched a new Emergency Alert service, which will be sending out a welcome message on Sunday 23 April to all compatible phones in the UK. The message will clearly show that no action is required and that it’s a test of the system.

Once the system goes live, the new service will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone if their lives are at risk in a local or national emergency. It will be used to send a direct message only where there is a risk to life, for example because of a public health emergency, severe floods, fires, industrial incidents or extreme weather. Emergency alerts will only be sent by the emergency services or Government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies.

When you receive an emergency alert, your mobile phone or tablet may make a loud siren-like sound (even if it’s set on silent), vibrate and read out the alert. The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds. Alerts are based on your current location, not where you live or work, and you do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.

An alert will also include a phone number or a link to the gov.uk website for more information. Read more about the Emergency Alert system here: www.gov.uk/alerts