A test will see a siren-like noise ringing out from all UK phones next month, as the UK Government looks to launch their new emergency alert system.
The alert system, which will be used to warn people about events such as severe flooding, fires and extreme weather, is expected to be tested on Sunday April 23, 2023. When the alert sounds, phone users will have to acknowledge it and will be unable to use features on their device until they do so.
Once launched, alerts will only be sent by the emergency services or government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies.
The test alert 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 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."
While officials advise against it, device owners can opt out by searching their settings for emergency alerts and then turning off severe and extreme alerts.
Countries like the US, Canada and Japan already have emergency alert systems in-place. Cabinet minister Oliver Dowden told the BBC the warnings are sent in a "very targeted way".
Dowden added that, other than the initial test, he hopes many people will never have to hear the alert system again.
The UK Government website states: "Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby. In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe."
The UK-wide test alert comes after local trials of the system were held in Reading and East Suffolk last year.
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