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Chronicle Live
Elly Rewcastle

Emergency mobile alert: How to stop the government’s alarm from playing on your phone

Vulnerable people and victims of abuse with hidden phones are advised that it is possible to turn off the Government’s emergency mobile alert. The system being tested nationwide on Sunday, April 23 at 3pm, will cause mobile phones to vibrate and play a loud siren.

The plan is for the system to alert people in case of life-threatening emergencies, including flooding, terrorist attacks and wildfires. The system has been developed following similar schemes in the United States, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands.

However, the introduction of the system has raised concerns from a number of charities and organisations about the impact of the alert on vulnerable people. Women’s Aid has also raised the possibility that victims of abuse who have secret “lifeline” mobile phones could be at risk if the alert sounds.

Read more: Exact time and date emergency siren will sound on every UK mobile phone

Now, those people most at risk and those who are vulnerable are being advised that it is possible to turn off the alert if need be.

Posting on social media, Durham Police shares a message that reads: “The UK Government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. It will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone when lives are in danger”.

The force also added that “it is possible to opt out of the Emergency Alert - and it is important you know how to do this should you have a mobile phone hidden from an abuser. If you have vulnerable family members, people also make them aware that a test will take place, what to expect and if needed, opt out for them”.

Who will receive Emergency Alerts?

Every mobile device connected to 4G or 5G will receive the alert on April 23 unless the device has opted out beforehand. You will not receive alerts if your device is:

  • Turned off or in airplane mode

  • Connected to a 2G or 3G network

  • Wi-Fi onl

How to opt out of Emergency Alerts on an iPhone

  1. Open “Settings”

  2. Select “Notifications” and scroll to the bottom until you see “Emergency Alerts”. Alternatively “Emergency Alerts”.

  3. Turn off “Extreme alerts” and “Severe alerts”.

How to opt out of Emergency Alerts on Android phones and tablets

  1. Open “Settings”

  2. Search for “Emergency Alerts” and turn off “Severe Alerts” and “Emergency Alerts”

  • On Huawei devices running EMUI 11 or older, search your settings for “emergency alerts” and please turn off “extreme threats”, “severe threats” and “show amber alerts”.

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