The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. The system enables people to be contacted via their mobile phone when lives are in danger. It will be used to warn you in the event of emergencies, such as severe flooding.
The message will confirm it is a test. You will not need to take any action. Please do not call the emergency services.
Emergency Alerts are sent to all compatible mobile phones within an area of risk. They don’t track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data.
Only the government and emergency services can send them. If you don’t have a mobile phone, you’ll still be informed through other channels.
If you get an Emergency Alert, your phone or tablet will make a loud, siren-like sound for about 10 seconds. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and how best to respond. You can check an alert is genuine at About Emergency Alerts – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Please note that the alert will sound even if your phone is on a silent setting.
If you have a secret or concealed phone that you use to keep yourself safe, for example from an abusive partner, you can opt out of receiving the alerts by changing the settings on your phone under “Emergency Alerts”.
This New Emergency Alerts system – a safety update for survivors – YouTube shows how to switch off the alerts for Android/iPhones (warning: the video contains audio).
Stay safe if the alert sounds while you are driving or operating machinery. Please do not look at your phone or attempt to respond in these circumstances as distractions can cause serious accidents.
Please note: This is a government system test.
Herts police, the Watch Liaison Team and Neighbourhood Watch are unable to answer enquiries about the system.