On Sunday 23 April 2023, there will be a national test of the UK Emergency Alerts service.

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.

The government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.

Reasons you might get an alert

You may get alerts about:

  • severe flooding
  • fires
  • extreme weather

Emergency alerts will only be sent by:

  • the emergency services
  • government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies

What happens when you get an emergency alert

Your mobile phone or tablet may:

  • make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
  • vibrate
  • read out the alert

The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.

An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.

You’ll get alerts based on your current location – not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.

What you need to do

When you get an alert, stop what you’re doing and follow the instructions in the alert.

If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert

  • You should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle.
  • If you are driving, you should continue to drive and not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.
  • Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.
It is illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.

If you cannot receive emergency alerts

If you do not have a compatible device, you’ll still be informed about an emergency. The emergency services have other ways to warn you when there is a threat to life.

Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media.

If you’re deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted

If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert.

Victims of domestic abuse

However, we are concerned for some victims of domestic abuse and would like to advise those who have a phone that’s concealed from their abuser, to turn off these alerts in the settings, BEFORE SUNDAY.

Domestic abuse charity, @RefugeCharity has produced this video to explain how. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2MBcHwmiy8
* If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, call 101 or visit https://www.cumbria.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/
Always dial 999 in an emergency.
Please remember
🔴 The alert is a test
🔴 It will be automatically sent to your mobile device
🔴 Your device will wake and make an alarm sound.
🔴 The alarm can be dismissed.
To find out more about the planned upcoming test visit: gov.uk/alerts

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