Exact schedule of national Emergency Alert on mobile phones announced

Millions of mobile phones throughout the UK will sound a loud alarm and vibrate later this month as part of a statewide test of a new public alert system.

The technology is designed to be utilised in potentially life-threatening scenarios such as flooding and wildfires.

Domestic abuse advocates, however, have cautioned that the test could endanger people by revealing the location of concealed phones stowed away by those in danger.

The message will be received with sound and vibration on 4G and 5G mobile phones for up to 10 seconds.

Before continuing to use their device, phone users will be requested to acknowledge the notice by swiping or clicking the message.

“For 10 seconds, the national test may be inconvenient for some, but please forgive us for the intrusion because the next time you hear it, your life, and the life-saving actions of our emergency services, could depend on it,” said National Fire Chiefs Council chairman Mark Hardingham.

The method is based on comparable models implemented in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan.

“Having this system operational with the national test means we have another tool in our toolkit to keep the public safe in life-threatening emergencies,” said Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden.

“It could be the sound that saves your life.”

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