Smartphone users: did you know your mobile is about to become a siren?

Last Updated: April 14, 2023By Tags: , , , , , ,

Were you aware of this? I wasn’t!

The first nationwide test of a public warning system that sends alerts to UK mobile phones will take place at 3pm on Sunday 23 April.

The emergency alerts system is designed to broadcast urgent messages in the event of a disaster such as severe flooding, fires or extreme weather.

Mobiles with a 4G or 5G signal will emit a loud siren-like sound, receive a message on their home screen and vibrate for up to 10 seconds.

Here’s the part that really surprises me:

The national test comes 10 years after the Cabinet Office conducted its first successful trials. In 2013 the government concluded that “not only would alerts be seen as a useful service by the public but that it would also be an effective way of getting people to take specific protective action during an emergency”.

In that case – and knowing that similar systems operate in other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan – one can only ask one obvious question:

Why the 10-year delay?

Source: ‘Sound that could save your life’: UK disaster alert to buzz phones on 23 April | Emergency services | The Guardian

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  1. Big Growing Flame April 14, 2023 at 6:38 am - Reply

    Am I the only one old enough to recall Cold War films preparing for us to survive a nuclear war? Lots of public sirens and warnings then, as well.
    On another note, will they all go off at the same time? What will that sound like in an enclosed space?

  2. gillyflowerblog April 14, 2023 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Yes, and I’ve turned mine off. It’s somewhere in settings

  3. flttymartyn April 14, 2023 at 7:50 am - Reply

    So, will it be able to be hacked, causing a nuisance?

  4. Dave Rowlands April 14, 2023 at 8:27 am - Reply

    I’ve turned mine off and won’t be receiving any alerts from the government, I don’t trust them and who gave them my number anyway? As with everything this government does the alert would probably come too late, I already have various apps that do this and I opted into those.

  5. Jules April 14, 2023 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Don’t receive this alert it’s linked to digital ID

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