RESIDENTS across North East Lincolnshire are being reminded that national testing of a new emergency alarm system will take place this weekend.
On Sunday 23 April at 3pm, messages will be received on all 4G and 5G mobile phones along with sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds. This is to test the new national Emergency Alerts, which will enable urgent messages to be broadcast to a defined area when there is an imminent risk to life, such as wildfires or severe flooding.
The system is being introduced across the UK following successful trials in East Suffolk and Reading.
For the test, the public does not need to take any action – the sound and vibration will stop automatically after ten seconds. All people need to do is swipe away the message or click ‘OK’ on their phone’s home screen – just like for a ‘low battery’ warning or notification – and continue to use their phone as normal.
Emergency Alerts have already been used successfully in a number of other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan, where it has been widely credited with saving lives, for example, during severe weather events.
Those people who have phones as ‘silent lifelines’ – such as survivors of domestic abuse – are urged to remember the test and how to silence their devices.
To opt out of the alert service on an iPhone: search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off Severe alerts and Emergency alerts. If this does not work, contact your device manufacturer. For further advice go to gov.uk/alerts/opt-out
To opt out on Android phones and tablets: search settings 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’.
If this does not work, contact your device manufacturer.
You can find out further information on Emergency Alerts, including what they look and sound like, at gov.uk/alerts