Do not be alarmed! On Sunday 23 April 2023 at 3pm, there will be a national test of the UK Emergency Alerts service. An alarm will go off on your phone and/or tablet.
Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby.
In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.
The government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.
Reasons you might get an alert
You may get alerts about:
- severe flooding
- extreme weather
Emergency alerts will only be sent by:
- the emergency services
- government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies
What happens when you get an emergency alert
Your mobile phone or tablet may:
- make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
- read out the alert
The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.
An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
You’ll get alerts based on your current location – not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.
What you need to do
When you get an alert, stop what you’re doing and follow the instructions in the alert.
If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert
- Do not read or respond to an emergency alert while driving or riding.
- Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there’s nowhere safe and legal to stop, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, you can listen to news on live radio to find out about the emergency.
It’s illegal to use a hand-held device while driving or riding.
If you cannot receive emergency alerts
If you do not have a compatible device, you’ll still be informed about an emergency. The emergency services have other ways to warn you when there is a threat to life.
Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media.
If you’re deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted
If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert.
Emergency alerts will be sent in English. In Wales, they may also be sent in Welsh.