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What is the UK emergency-alert system?

Last Updated on April 23, 2023
UK emergency alert test
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You may be wondering what the UK emergency-alert system is, and when the test is coming, so let’s get you up to speed so you know what to expect.

So what is the UK emergency-alert system? Well, it’s a service by the UK government that warns you if there is a danger to life nearby. These emergency alerts will only be sent by the emergency services, government departments, agencies, and public bodies that deal with emergencies.

But what constitutes a danger to life and in what circumstances could you expect one? According to the UK government website possible reasons for an alert could be severe flooding, fires, or extreme weather.

These alerts are expected to appear on your tablet or mobile phone’s home screens. This alert may also be accompanied by a loud siren-like sound (even if your mobile/ tablet is on silent), a vibration, and the alert being ‘read out’, and will last around 10 seconds.

When you receive one of these alerts it is advised that you stop what you’re doing, and follow the instructions in the alert.

It is also stressed on the UK Government website that should you be driving, you should not respond or read the emergency alert, and instead find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If you can’t find anywhere safe to stop and no one else in the vehicle can read the message, you should listen to the news or live radio to find out about the emergency itself.

When is the UK emergency alert test?

The UK emergency alert test is scheduled for 3pm, Sunday 23rd April 2023. According to the BBC, the test 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”

So if you were wondering if you needed to respond to the test, it looks like you don’t have to.

What devices will receive the UK emergency alert test?

According to the UK government website, iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later and Android tablets running Android 11 or later will receive alerts. That said, they advise that if you have an earlier version of Android, you may still be able to get the alert. Check your device’s settings for ’emergency alerts’ if this sounds like your situation.

Ramzi Musa is a Growth Manager and Editor for BGFG. He has experience and expertise in tech, gaming, and hardware.