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Emergency Alerts Service
Emergency Alerts Service

Find out more about the UK Governments Emergency Alerts Service

Casey avatar
Written by Casey
Updated over a week ago

What are Emergency Alerts? 🔊

Emergency Alerts is a free UK Government service that will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby.

In an emergency, your mobile phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.

It may send alerts about anything from severe flooding to fires, terror attacks to public health emergencies.


How does it work?

Emergency alerts work on all 4G and 5G phone networks in the UK.

In an emergency, mobile phone masts in the surrounding area will broadcast an alert. Every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range of a mast will receive the alert.

Your mobile phone or tablet may:

  • make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent

  • vibrate

  • read out the alert

The sound and vibration will last for about 10 seconds.

Your mobile phone or tablet does not have to be connected to mobile data or wifi to get alerts.

Emergency alerts are free. You do not need to sign up for them or download an app.

Compatible mobile phones and other devices 📱

Emergency alerts work on:

  • iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later

  • Android phones and tablets running Android 11 or later

If you have an earlier version of Android, you may still be able to receive alerts. To check, search your device settings for ‘emergency alerts’.

Make sure your device has all the latest software updates.

Reasons you will not get an alert

You will not receive alerts if your device is:

  • turned off or in airplane mode

  • connected to a 2G or 3G network

  • Wi-Fi only

  • not compatible

Opting out of emergency alerts 🔇

You can opt out of emergency alerts, but you should keep them switched on for your own safety.

To opt-out:

  1. Search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’.

  2. Turn off ‘severe alerts’ and ‘extreme alerts’.

If you still get alerts after opting out, contact your device manufacturer for help.

Will Emergency Alerts affect my battery life? 🔋

No. Neither emergency alerts nor having the ability to receive them will impact a device's battery life.

Checking if an Emergency Alert is genuine

Emergency Alerts are only sent by the emergency services, or by government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies.

The alerts have a unique set of characteristics that cannot be replicated by an SMS message, so they can’t be sent by members of the public.

If you want to verify a message, all issued alerts are listed on the GOV.UK website.

You can find out more about Emergency Alerts here

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