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Survivors of abuse issued with warning ahead of emergency alerts text

11:37 am, Wednesday, 29th March 2023 - 1 year ago

Children and families

SURVIVORS of abuse in North East Lincolnshire who have silent ‘lifeline’ phones are being made aware of a new emergency alert system, which is being trialled on mobiles across the UK.

Sunday 23 April sees the launch of Government testing of the system, which will warn all people with mobiles and tablets if there is any danger to life near them. Those living in areas at risk from, for example flooding, fires or extreme weather, will get text alerts with advice on staying safe.

Mobiles and tablets will make a loud siren-like sound, even if set to silent or will vibrate or read the alert out.

North East Lincolnshire Council officers and local agencies want to ensure those they support, who include survivors of domestic abuse and their children, are aware of this – and of how the alerts can be switched off.

Helen Cordell is the Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator for North East Lincolnshire Council’s Safer Partnership.

“Of course, any system that alerts people to a pending crisis will be extremely welcome across the country – with increasing risks of extreme weather this is going to be more important than ever. However, there are many people for whom their ‘silent’ or ‘secret’ mobile phones are reassuring lifelines,” said Helen.

To opt out of the alert service on an iPhone:

  • To opt out, 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

Opt Out Android phones and tablets:

  • To opt out, search your 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.

The domestic abuse charity Refuge has also put together a short video explaining how to opt out of the service. This can be found here.

  • For support and advice on domestic abuse in North East Lincolnshire, Women’s Aid NEL supports individuals of all genders, abilities and sexual identities. Call the 24-hour helpline on 01472 575757, or via email at [email protected].  If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of someone else, please call 999 and ask for the Police. If you can’t speak, dial 999 and, when the operator is on the line, press 55 on your telephone keypad to still get help. Alternatively, you can report non-emergency incidents to Humberside Police on 101.
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