19 April 2023
Emergency Alerts test scheduled, Dunne informs public

The Government will conduct a test of its new Emergency Alerts system on Sunday 23rd April at 3pm.

The nationwide test will assess the system's effectiveness to be able to warn the public of life-threatening emergencies in future.

During the test, people across the country will receive a message on their mobile phone's home screen, along with a sound and vibration lasting up to ten seconds. The message will read:

"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 a real emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe. Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information.

You do not need to take any action during the test.  The sound and vibration will stop automatically after ten seconds. You can swipe away the message or click ‘OK’ on your mobile phone’s home screen, just like for a ‘low battery’ warning or notification and continue using their phone as usual.

Best practice in other countries have shown that Emergency Alerts work more effectively when people have previously received a test and know what an alert looks and sounds like.

Philip Dunne said:

“At 3 pm next Sunday, we’ll be doing a nationwide test of our new Emergency Alerts system. Getting this system operational provides a new tool to keep the public safe in the event of a real emergency. It could be the sound that saves your life.

“Emergency Alerts have already been successfully used in several other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan, where they have been widely credited with saving lives during severe weather events. In the UK, alerts could be used to inform residents of villages being encroached by wildfires or severe flooding.

“The Government has worked with emergency services and partners, including the Football Association and London Marathon, to ensure the national test has minimal impact on major events taking place on the day.

“At every stage, the Government has collaborated with organisations and charities that represent vulnerable groups to ensure they are not adversely affected.

“Women and girls who are subject to domestic abuse and have concealed phones can opt-out of the national test either by turning off Emergency Alerts in their phone settings or by switching off their phone. Emergency Alerts will transform the UK's warning to threats to life”.