“warning of disaster” alert notifications due next month.

“warning of disaster” alert notifications due next month.

27 March 2023

Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby. A siren-like alert will be sent to smartphone users across the UK next month to test a new government public warning system.

It allows the government and emergency services to send urgent messages warning the public of life-threatening situations like flooding or wildfires. In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.

The system is being modelled on similar schemes used in the US, Canada, Japan and The Netherlands. Emergency alerts work on all 4G and 5G phone networks and will not include older "non-smart" phones, the government said.

Messages would only ever come from the government or emergency services and will initially focus on the most serious weather-related events, with the ability to get a message to 90% of mobile users within the relevant area.

Terror alerts could be added to the list of potential events that would trigger a notification.

The messages will include details of the area impacted and instructions about how to respond. They will only be sent where there is an immediate risk to life and many people may not receive an alert for months or years.

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