Some mobile phone users across the UK may be sent a loud siren-like alert today as part of emergency testing.
The alerts will be tested on Android devices on Tuesday (22 June) afternoon, but recipients do not need to take any action.
When will the alerts be sent?
The emergency alerts will be sent to some Android devices on Tuesday 22 June between 1pm and 2pm.
The alert will say: “This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action. To find out more, search for gov.uk/alerts”.
Mobile phone users can opt out of alerts by selecting ‘emergency alerts’ in settings on their device, and turning off ‘Severe alerts’. If this does not work, contact your device manufacturer.
It is possible to opt out of some emergency alerts, but not the most important ones. You cannot opt out by subject, only by how serious the emergency is.
If you opt out because you do not want flood warnings, for example, you risk missing alerts for fires and terrorism. As such, the government recommends keeping emergency alerts switched on for your safety.
What are the alerts for?
Emergency alerts are used as a vital tool to help people respond to emergencies or threats on a national or local level.
The system enables the government to more quickly and effectively send warnings to people across the country, allowing them to get to safety in the event of a threat.
The alerts that will be sent to some phone users on Tuesday are part of a test only and do not require any action to be taken.
Further testing to be carried out
Another emergency test will be sent by the UK government to residents in Reading Berkshire, on Tuesday 29 June 2021.
The UK government will send a test alert to some mobile devices between 1pm and 2pm.
If you receive the alert, your phone or tablet may make a loud siren-like sound, but you do not need to take any action.
The alert will say: “The UK government is testing Emergency Alerts in Reading, Berkshire.
“Emergency alerts tell you what to do if there’s a life-threatening event nearby.
“To find out more, call 0808 1697692 or search for gov.uk/alerts.”