The new Emergency Alerts service is now live. The system will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone if their lives are at risk in an emergency. The service will be used to warn you about life-threatening emergencies such as severe flooding.
Emergency Alerts are messages sent to all compatible 4G and 5G mobile phones when there’s a danger to your life, health or property in the area you’re located. They don’t need your phone number or track your location. Only the Government and the emergency services can send them. You’ll be able to check that an alert is genuine at gov.uk/alerts. Emergency Alerts will be just one of the ways the Government communicates with the public about emergency situations. So if you don’t have a mobile phone, don’t worry – you’ll still be made aware through the media and local emergency services.
An Emergency Alert looks and sounds very different to other types of messages such as SMS ‘text messages’. You’ll know if you get an Emergency Alert because you’ll hear a loud siren-like sound and your phone will use a distinct vibration. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and what you need to do. Depending on your phone’s features, the alert will work with screen magnification and may read the message out for you having also overridden volume settings. The unique noise emitted by the phone should also be audible for those who use a hearing aid.
You can opt out of an Emergency Alert, however, we strongly recommend that people do not opt out of the service, as it is intended to warn you when lives are in danger. If you’d like to opt out search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off Emergency alerts. If this does not work, please contact your device manufacturer. For further advice go to gov.uk/alerts/opt-out In the future you may receive an alert on your phone, if you do, please read the alert carefully and follow the instructions. Please remember their look and feel in case you receive one again. To find out more about how it works, watch our video at gov.uk/alerts.