Sometimes, when there’s an emergency, it’s useful to be able to contact as many people as possible to let them know what’s going on. That’s why this summer, the UK government has introduced Emergency Alerts.
These alerts come straight to your phone or tablet, and keep you informed when there’s been an incident nearby.
The types of alerts you might receive are to let you know about:
- severe flooding
- terrorist incidents
- public health emergencies
The UK government has been testing the emergency alert system this summer and there are more tests due to take place. If you get a test alert you won’t need to do anything – it’s just to make sure the system is working before the emergency alerts are rolled out across the country.
Who can send me an alert?
- the emergency services
- government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies
How do the alerts work?
The emergency alerts work just like a radio broadcast, so the government doesn’t need your phone number to be able to send you one. They come through like a text message.
They’re also based on your current location, not where you live or work – so you’ll only be notified about emergencies close to where you are when they happen.
What should I do if I get an alert?
If you get an emergency alert, your phone or tablet will vibrate and make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set to silent.
The alert will tell you what you need to do, and will include details about the emergency and where it’s happening. There might also be a link in the alert to the GOV.UK website, where you can find out more information.
Will the alert cost me anything?
The alerts are free of charge, so won’t use any of your texts or minutes allowance. They also don’t reveal any personal information or data about you.
Where can I find out more information?
If you’ve got more questions, the GOV.UK website has lots more about the Emergency Alerts service.