In April, the Government will be running a test for their Emergency Alerts system. They will come in the form of messages sent to your smartphone, which will then make a loud, siren-like noise.
The system is designed to alert people about any emergencies in their area, such as extreme weather and flooding. Alerts will only be sent by emergency services e.g. fire brigades and government departments responsible for dealing with emergencies.
A test alert will be sent out nationally on Sunday 23rd April. It will be sent out at around 3pm. The alert is just a test – you won’t need to take any action. More information on what happens when you get an alert is here: https://www.gov.uk/alerts
The alert will be in the form of a text message, which will say:
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.
Your mobile phone or tablet may:
- Make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
- Read out the alert
The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds. This might be overloading for some autistic people. In this post, we will have information on what to do to minimise the risk of being overwhelmed by the noise, vibration and sudden nature of getting the alert.
Not getting alerts
If you are worried about the noise made when getting the alert, there are instances where you can avoid receiving it. You won’t get alerts if your smartphone and/or tablet are:
- Turned off or in airplane mode
- Connected to a 2G or 3G network
- Wi-Fi only
- Not compatible
Some iPhones running on iOS versions before 14.5 and Android devices running Android 10 or earlier might not work automatically. If you want to get the alert, make sure your device is up to date. More information on that is here: https://www.gov.uk/alerts/how-alerts-work.
You can opt out of getting the alert for safety reasons, such as if you have a secret phone. To do that:
- Search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’.
- Turn off ‘severe alerts’ and ‘extreme alerts’.
If you still get alerts, you should contact your device manufacturer for help.
Easy Read guides
We have put together a simple guide to the Emergency Alerts, using images from CHANGE. To download them in Jpeg and PDF formats, please click on the links below: