If you live in the UK, don’t be surprised when your phone starts ringing at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. The government is testing a new emergency alert service to see if it works. In the future, there are plans to use the system in a targeted manner to alert people of “imminent life-threatening” conditions.
After the test, an alert will be issued in case of future severe floods, fires and severe weather. Fortunately, the UK is fairly quiet when it comes to natural disasters, so hopefully these alerts will be issued with a little more time. Multiple organizations can send these alerts. Emergency services, government departments, agencies, and public institutions that handle emergencies.
Circling back to the test scheduled for Sunday, your phone will make a loud siren-like sound, it will vibrate, and it will read an alert. All of this will happen even when your phone is on silent and will last about 10 seconds before ending. If you want a peek at what to expect, check out the video the government has released.
Motorists, who must have full attention on the road, are cautioned not to interact with alerts while driving. The government says to find a safe place to stop or let someone else in the car read it before you read it. If there’s a real emergency in the future and you can’t check your phone, the government recommends turning on the car radio in advance.
You can learn more about the alert system. Government specific web page.