Today in East Suffolk your phone may suddenly start to make a loud siren like sound and receive a government alert message. If it does – don’t panic – this is a government test and you need to take no action – (apart from drop your phone in surprise I imagine!)
Emergency Alerts is a new service from the UK government thats expected to launch in summer 2021. The new Emergency Alerts service would send a direct message only where there is a risk to life, either locally or nationally.
This could include public health emergencies, severe floods, fires, industrial incidents and terror attacks.
Ahead of its introduction, the first in a series of trials will take place in East Suffolk tomorrow where residents will receive a test alert message.
The UK government will send 2 test alerts between 1pm and 2pm to mobile phones on East Suffolk.
The area was chosen because residents already have an alert system and because Leiston has a coastal border and low population density, which allows the test to be carefully measured and targeted for effectiveness.
If you get an alert, your phone or tablet may make a loud siren-like sound. You do not need to take any action.
The alerts will say:
The UK government is testing Emergency Alerts in East Suffolk.
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
The alerts are free to receive, and one-way. They do not reveal your location and do not collect any personal data.
Should the tests prove successful the capability will be made available for use across the whole of the UK later this year.
Alerts will issue a warning and clear instructions about how best to respond and will include a link to gov.uk/alerts where people can check whether an alert has been issued, to verify its origin.
The Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt, said: “The Emergency Alerts service will be a vital tool in helping us to better respond to emergencies, both nationally and locally. This new system builds on existing capability and will allow us to more quickly and effectively get life-saving messages to people across the UK.”