Millions of UK smartphone owners will see their devices belt out an automatic alarm this weekend with the UK government testing its new Emergency Alerts system. This technology will be used in the future to warn residents of impending danger including times when life could be put at risk due to flooding or extreme weather.
To make sure it works, a trial of this service will take place on Sunday, April 23 at 3pm with millions of iPhone and Android users seeing a message on the display and hearing a loud bleep that will ring out of these devices.
Now, ahead of the test, the UK government has revealed more details about the alert and advice on how to deal with it once it’s released.
When the clock strikes 3 pm this Sunday, your phone’s screen will lock and a message will appear that reads, “This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby. In an actual emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe. Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information. This is a test. You do not need to take any action.”
A loud alarm will also be heard with users then being asked to tap a confirmation button on the screen to return things to normal.
You can see how the alert works via the video below.
Along with revealing more details about what UK users can expect, the government has also issued advice about when to ignore the alert. In fact, those driving cars or riding bikes are being told to leave their devices alone.
“You should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle,” the UK government said.
“If you are driving, you should continue to drive and not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.
“Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.”
If you don’t want to take part in the test you can switch it off in the settings menu on your phone or simply turn off the device at 2:59pm.
To turn off the alerts on iPhone go to Settings > Notifications > Then scroll to the bottom of the list and toggle off Extreme Alerts and Serve Alerts.
On Android simply search your settings for emergency alerts using the search icon. From the results, turn off severe and emergency alerts.
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