Emergency Alerts test on 23 April

Mobile phone displaying Emergenct Alerts and exclamation mark.

Emergency Alerts is a new 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.

A UK-wide alerts test will take place on Sunday 23 April at 3pm which will see people receive a test message on their mobile phones. You do not need to take any action.

The government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.

More information is available at www.gov.uk/alerts

Reasons you might get an alert

You may get alerts about:

  • severe flooding
  • fires
  • extreme weather

Emergency alerts will only be sent by:

  • the emergency services
  • government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies

What happens when you get an emergency alert

Your mobile phone or tablet may:

  • make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
  • vibrate
  • read out the alert

The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.

An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.

You’ll get alerts based on your current location - not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.

If you’re driving or riding when you get an alert

You should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle.

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.

Opting out of emergency alerts

You can opt out of emergency alerts, but you should keep them switched on for your own safety.

To opt out:

  • search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’
  • turn off ‘severe alerts’ and ‘extreme alerts’

If you still get alerts, contact your device manufacturer for help.

The domestic violence charity Refuge has created a YouTube video on how to manage Emergency Alerts on your phone to stay safe