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Reading part of a pilot for a new UK government emergency alert system

23 June 2021

The UK government is introducing a new Emergency Alerts system that will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone when lives are in danger.

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To ensure the Emergency Alerts system works effectively, the government will be carrying out a series of tests. The first test will be in Reading on Tuesday 29 June, between 1pm and 2pm.

The Emergency Alert will be used to warn you in emergencies such as severe flooding or terror attacks.

Many people in Reading at that time on that day with a modern mobile phone that is switched on could receive a message, and their phone will ring and vibrate even if it is set to silent. It is based on location not residency so it will affect everyone in the area, even if they are just passing through.

Emergency Alerts are sent to all compatible mobile phones within an area of risk. They don’t track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data. Only the government and the emergency services will be able to send them. If you don’t have a mobile phone, you’ll still be kept informed through other channels.

If you get an Emergency Alert on your phone, you’ll hear a loud, siren-like sound. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and how best to respond. You’ll be able to check an alert is genuine at gov.uk/alerts.

If you receive a test alert, you won’t need to do anything on this occasion. If you receive one in the future, read the alert carefully and follow the instructions.

Following the test, please complete the user survey at gov.uk/alerts so we can gather and respond to feedback and make improvements to Emergency Alerts.

To find out more about Emergency Alerts, visit gov.uk/alerts.