UK phones to get emergency alert system to warn of life-threatening incidents

UK phones to get emergency alert system to warn of life-threatening incidents

The government said the new emergency alerts would be used sparingly (Representational)


Siren-like alerts will be sent to mobile phone users across Britain over the next month to test a new public alert system on life-threatening events such as severe weather events, the British government announced on Sunday.

A UK-wide alert test will take place on the evening of Sunday, 23 April, with people receiving a test message on their mobile phone.

The government said the new emergency alerts will be used sparingly, only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives, so people may not receive an alert for months or years.

While not currently covered, terror alerts could also be added to the list of possible events that would trigger a notification over time.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said: “We are strengthening our national resilience with a new emergency alert system to deal with a wide range of hazards – from floods to wildfires.”

“This will revolutionize our ability to warn and inform those who are in immediate danger, and help us keep people safe. As we have seen in the US and elsewhere, the ringing of a phone can cost a life. can save,” he said.

Working with mobile broadcasting technology, the Emergency Alert System is set to transform the UK’s warning and information capability, providing a means of receiving urgent messages to around 90 per cent of mobile phones in a defined area, the Cabinet Office said. and provides clear instructions. How about best answer.

The UK-wide rollout follows successful trials in East Suffolk and Reading as part of an action plan against “ever-evolving” threats.

“Alerts will only come from the government or emergency services, and they will issue a warning, always include details of the area affected, and give instructions on how best to respond – linking to where people can get There are more details,” the UK Cabinet Office said.

The service has already been used in several other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan, where it is widely credited with saving lives, for example, during severe weather events.

Mark Hardingham, chairman of the UK’s National Fire, said: “As with every fire and rescue service in the country, I’m looking forward to having emergency alerts available to help us do our jobs and help communities in case of emergency. Could.” Major Council.

“We have seen this type of system working elsewhere around the world and we look forward to having the facility here in the UK – working closely with fire services and partners we want this system to help you stay safe. Help us. If there is a crisis, you can,” he said.

Broadcast from cell towers around an emergency, the alert has been described as “secure, free to receive and one-way”. The government said they do not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data and alerts can only be sent by authorized government and emergency services users.

Caroline Douglas, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management at Environment, said: “Being able to communicate warnings during events in a timely and accurate way really encourages people to take action to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours. important to help do.” agency.

“Emergency Alerts is a great addition to our toolbox that we can use in emergency situations,” she said.

Emergency Alerts will be used in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and their initial use will focus on the most severe severe weather events, including severe flooding in England.

The British government said it is working closely with a number of stakeholders and partners across the UK to develop the system, including partners from the emergency services, transport groups and the Environment Agency.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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