Everyone in the UK will get a ‘test’ emergency alert on their phone on this day

The Government says the new alert system "could be the sound that saves your life."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 6th April 2023

Everyone in the UK with a mobile phone is set to receive an emergency alert notification as part of a nationwide test this month.

The Government has today confirmed the date and time that the test alert will be issued.

Following what the Government has called “successful pilots” in East Suffolk and Reading, it has now been confirmed that the test of the new “lifesaving” Emergency Alerts system will take place at 3pm on Sunday 23 April.

Those with a 4G and 5G compatible mobile phone will receive a message on the home screen of their mobile phone, along with a sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds.

As this is only a test, and as the alert will state, the public does not need to take any action when they receive the message, as the sound and vibration will stop automatically stop, so all you’ll need to do is swipe away the message.


You can also click ‘OK’ on your phone’s home scree, just like you would for a ‘low battery’ warning or any normal notification, and then continue to use your phone as usual.

Emergency Alerts have already been used successfully in a number of other countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan, and the UK Government claims the system has been widely-credited with saving lives.


In the UK, alerts could be used to tell residents of villages being encroached by wildfires, or of severe flooding.

The Government says it has worked together with the emergency services and partners – including the Football Association (FA) and London Marathon – to make sure the national test has “a minimum impact” on the several major sporting events taking place on the day.

Cabinet Minister Oliver Dowden is urging the British public to “put the date in your diaries”.


“Getting this system operational with the national test means we have another tool in our toolkit to keep the public safe in life-threatening emergencies,” he added.

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

Everyone in the UK will get a ‘test’ emergency alert on their phone on this day / Credit: GOV.UK

Emergency Alerts will “transform the UK’s warning and informing capability”, according to the Government.

This is because they will work with mobile broadcasting technology to provide a way of getting urgent messages quickly to nearly 90% of mobile phones in a defined area when there is a risk to life, and will then provide clear instructions about how best to respond.

The best practice of Emergency Alerts in other countries have shown that they work more effectively in a real emergency if people have previously received a test.


This is so they know what an alert looks and sounds like.

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According to the Government, the Emergency Alert system will be used very rarely here in the UK, and will only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives.

This means we may not receive an alert for months, or even years.

Featured Image – Sherise Van Dyk (via Unsplash)