Posted: Sun 16th Apr 2023

Details of text to be used for next weeks UK-wide emergency alert test released

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Apr 16th, 2023


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Details of next week’s UK mobile emergency alert system test have been released.

The UK government will be testing its new Emergency Alerts system next Sunday, 23 April, at 3 pm.

People across the country will receive a message on their mobile phones accompanied by a sound and vibration for up to ten seconds.

The message will read:

“This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.”

“In a real emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe.”

“Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information.”

“This is a test. You do not need to take any action.”

The public does not need to take any action for the test, and the sound and vibration will stop automatically after ten seconds.

They only need to swipe away the message or click ‘OK’ on their phone’s home screen and continue to use their phone as normal.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden MP, stated that getting this system operational means they have a vital tool to keep the public safe in life-threatening emergencies, and that it could be the sound that saves people’s lives.

Emergency Alerts have already been used successfully in other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan.

In these countries, it has been widely credited with saving lives during severe weather events.

In the UK, alerts could be used to warn residents of villages being encroached by wildfires, or of severe flooding.

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

They have also worked with organisations and charities that represent vulnerable groups to make sure they are not adversely affected.

Women and girls who are subject to domestic abuse and have concealed phones can opt-out of the national test either by turning off Emergency Alerts in their phone settings or by switching their phone off.

Emma Pickering, Senior Operations Tech Abuse Manager at Refuge,

“Next week, the Government plans to send a test alert to all devices including tablets as well as phones.”

“These alerts will come through as a loud siren even if devices are on silent, and could alert an abuser to a concealed device.”

“Refuge’s Technology-Facilitated Abuse and Economic Empowerment Team have put together two videos on how to turn these alerts off, both on Android phones and on iPhones for anyone that is concerned that these alerts will put their safety at risk.”

“We want to ensure as many survivors as possible know how to ensure these alerts are turned off on their hidden devices.”

“We have more information on securing your devices – for example your location settings or privacy settings – on refugetechsafety.org.”

The Government has also worked with the transport sector and organisations such as Highways England to make sure drivers are aware of the alert and follow the normal rules as when receiving any phone call or message; they do not look or touch their phone until it is safe to do so.

Emergency Alerts will transform the UK’s warning and informing capability by working with mobile broadcasting technology.

It will provide a means to get urgent messages quickly to nearly 90 percent of mobile phones in a defined area when there is a risk to life, and provide clear instructions about how best to respond.

The system will be used very rarely, only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives, so people may not receive an alert for months or years.

 

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