The Emergency Alert System has been introduced by the UK government to send urgent messages warning the public of life-threatening situations like flooding or wildfires. Similar systems are in use in the United States, Canada, Japan, and other countries around the world.

What you need to know about the test of the new Emergency Alert System

The test of the system will be sent to every 4G and 5G smartphone in the UK at 3 pm on Sunday 23 April. The test alert will be 10 seconds of sound and vibration.

For the test, you do not need to take any action – the sound and vibration will stop automatically after 10 seconds. All you need to do is swipe away the message or click ‘OK’ on your phone’s home screen – just like for a ‘low battery’ warning or notification – and continue to use your phone as normal.

People who have their phones switched off will not receive the message – but it will sound if your phone is switched to silent.

There are many easy-read guides available on the internet. Use the link below to download the easy-read guide by learning disability wales to test the Emergency Alert System.

Can I turn off the alert?

Yes, it is possible to opt out of receiving emergency alerts by going to your device’s settings, regardless of whether you have an Android device or iPhone.

Your mobile settings should have an Emergency Alerts section, which should be under Notifications. In this section, you can select which alerts you want to turn on or off.

The alerts will work on all 4G and 5G phone networks, but older “non-smart” phones won’t be included, as the 3G technology they use is being switched off next year. The Government has said that people will be informed by other means if they don’t have a compatible device.

You will get alerts based on your current location, but you do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.

Refuge has created a video talking through the steps of turning off emergency alerts for both iPhone and Android devices.

For more information on the Emergency Alert System visit

Last updated 18/04/2023