Time confirmed for UK Emergency Alert test- here’s when your phone will ring and vibrate
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The exact time the UK Emergency Test alert will ring out on mobiles across the country has been confirmed. Dubbed the ‘armageddon alarm’ it will be heard and felt on devices through a siren-like sound accompanied by a vibration.
Emergency Alerts have already been used successfully in a number of other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan, where it has been widely credited with saving lives, for example, during severe weather events. In the UK, alerts could be used to tell residents of villages being encroached by wildfires, or of severe flooding.
The message, which will be received by 4G and 5G phones, will sound for around 10 seconds. For the test, the public does not need to take any action with the sound and vibration stopping automatically. However, to use your phone after the alert, you will need to acknowledge the message by clicking ‘OK’ on the phone’s home screen - just like for a ‘low battery’ warning or notification - you can then continue to use your device as normal.
On March 1, 8Ministers confirmed the date for the first nationwide test would take place on April 23, but until now, the time the mssage would come through remained under wraps. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden MP, said: “Put the date in your diaries - at 3pm on 23 April, we’ll be testing our new national Emergency Alerts system.
“Getting this system operational with the national test means we have another tool in our toolkit to keep the public safe in life-threatening emergencies. It could be the sound that saves your life.”
Chair of The National Fire Chiefs Council, Mark Hardingham, said: “We must use every tool at our disposal to keep people safe, and we need everyone to play their part - and the new Emergency Alerts system is one way we can do this. For 10 seconds, the national test may be inconvenient for some, but please forgive us for the intrusion, because the next time you hear it - your life, and the life-saving actions of our emergency services, could depend on it.”
National Police Chiefs’ council lead for Civil Contingencies, assistant chief constable Owen Weatherill said: “Warning and informing the public at speed during times of crises can be vital. We look forward to further developing the use of the Emergency Alerts capability and how it can have real benefits for the public to protect and preserve life, as well as supporting policing’s wider response to critical incidents with partner agencies. Alongside partners, we will continue to listen carefully to public feedback and ensure the use of Emergency Alerts has a positive impact.”