On 23 April 2023, around 60 million mobile phones in the UK received an emergency alert. The message appeared on the home screens and played a siren-like sound out loud with vibration for up to 10 seconds, even if the phone was on silent. Mobile phone users had to either click or swipe the message away to be able to use their phones.
Technical issues meant that 5 million users on the Three network didn’t receive the alert, putting the total percentage of national users who received the alert at 93%. Users could opt out of the alert and campaigners for domestic abuse awareness shared instructions on how to do this with the concern that victims with hidden second phones would have their location revealed by the alert. Discussions are ongoing about testing the system every two years.
Emergency alerts will only be sent by the emergency services or government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies. Alerts would be about things such as extreme weather, fires, and flooding. Similar emergency alert systems exist is many other countries such as the USA, Canada, and Japan.
Did you get the emergency alert? What do you think of the system? Join in the conversation and make a post or leave a comment below.