LONDON —A new emergency alert system will be put to the test in the UK on April 23 at 3 pm, as millions of mobile phones across the nation will sound a loud alarm and display a message on their screens. The alert system, designed to be utilized in life-threatening situations such as flooding and wildfires, will broadcast a notification on both 4G and 5G mobile devices.
The alert will emit sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds, even if phones are on silent mode.
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. This is a test. You do not need to take any action.”
To proceed using their device, phone users will be prompted to swipe the message away or click “OK” on their home screen.
While drivers are urged not to touch or look at their phones until it is safe to do so, the emergency alert system is modeled after similar initiatives in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden stated, “Getting this system operational means we have a vital tool to keep the public safe in life-threatening emergencies. It could be the sound that saves your life.”