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Explained: This is how the government emergency alert is going to work on 23rd April

It’ll sound like a siren and last for ten seconds


A UK-wide emergency alert service has recently been launched by the government ahead of a test on Sunday 23rd April. The alerts are going to be sent directly to mobile phones across the UK to warn people about life-threatening events such as wildfires and dangerous flooding, the government has said.

The alerts will only come from the government of emergency services and will include details of the area impacted along with instructions on how to respond. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden said: “We are strengthening our national resilience with a new emergency alerts system, to deal with a wide range of threats. It will revolutionise our ability to warn and inform people who are in immediate danger, and help us keep people safe. As we’ve seen in the US and elsewhere, the buzz of a phone can save a life.”

The new service was first tested in East Suffolk and Reading. Alerts will only be sent when there is an immediate risk to life, so it may be a very long period between them. Here’s everything we know about the government alert being sent on 23rd April:

What will the government alert look and sound like on 23rd April

The alert will appear on your device and you will hear a loud siren and vibration which will last up to 10 seconds. You will have to acknowledge the alert before using your phone again. It will appear as a notification and may include phone numbers or website links for more information. It’s very similar looking to a low battery notification.

Can I turn off the government alert message ahead of 23rd April?

Yes, if you don’t want to receive the alerts you can opt out in your device settings. It’s important to note the government won’t be using emergency alerts to spam people. The alerts are only used to warn us about an immediate threat to life.

Executive director for floor and coastal erosion risk management at the Environment Agency, Caroline Douglas said: “Being able to communicate warnings in a timely and accurate manner during incidents is really important to help people take action to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours.

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