Emergency Alerts are a public information system that we have developed to alert citizens to emergencies, both nationwide and in their local area, that represent a severe threat to life and/or property. The technology used allows a message to be broadcast to a defined area, meaning any compatible device in or entering that area will immediately receive the message, detailing the emergency and actions people need to take to ensure their safety. Compatible devices are iPhones made after 2015 with the latest software, and Android phones and tablets that are made after 2015 and have the latest software. All devices need to be 4G or 5G compatible. Phones purchased new since summer 2021 will automatically have the software activated within them.
Their purpose is to help save lives in emergency situations by issuing a warning and clear instructions about how best to respond. While the alert service will initially be used as part of our severe flood warning response service, it could also serve a wider purpose and be used as an emergency response for other scenarios, such as public health emergencies, fires, extreme weather and major incidents. Emergency Alerts are our way of warning people when lives are in danger.
Alerts are broadcasted via mobile phone cell towers to specific geographical areas. You do not need to modify location settings on your phone to receive them, and switching off location settings will not affect your ability to receive them.