However, there is no need for anyone to panic - is part of an emergency warning system being trialled across the UK by the government.
Emergency Alerts is a UK government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby, including severe flooding, fires or extreme weather. The government does not need to know your phone number or location to send you an alert.
Who sends the alerts?
They will only be sent by:
the emergency services
government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies
What happens when you get an alert?
Your mobile phone or tablet may:
make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent
read out the alert
The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.
An alert will include a phone number or a link to the GOV.UK website for more information.
You will get alerts based on your current location - not where you live or work. You do not need to turn on location services to receive alerts.
When is the test happening?
The test alert will be sent on Sunday, April 23.
In England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, it will say: “This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby. In an actual emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe. Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information. This is a test. You do not need to take any action.”
In Wales, the message will be sent in English and Welsh.
At other times, what should you do if you get an alert?
The government says that if you get an alert – apart from the test on April 23 - stop what you’re doing and follow the instructions in the alert. However, you should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle. If you are driving, you should continue to drive and not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.
Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.