National Emergency Test: How To Turn It Off For Those At Risk

The new Emergency Alerts system will be tested nationally this weekend.

At 3pm (15:00) Sunday April 23 the system will be tested that will be used to warn people when their lives are in danger, such as the wildfires around London or serve flooding that has happened in many parts of the country.

The Emergency Alert is a loud, siren-like sound with a message on your mobile phone screen that will last for 10 seconds.

It does not track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data, and only the emergency services can send them.

While it is recommend everyone maintain the current settings as this will only be used for local and national alerts however, there may be a few circumstances where it may be necessary to disable them.

One of the groups being advised to disable the alert is people at risk of domestic violence who may be concealing a phone from there abuser.

Those that do wish to disable the alert can do so by accessing the settings on their phone and scrolling to ‘notifications’ and disabling the ‘extreme alert’ button.

Refuge, a domestic abuse charity have a page on their website talking you through how to disable the alert and YouTube videos to help.

Emma Pickering, Senior Operations Tech Abuse Manager at Refuge, said: “Next week, the Government plans to send a test alert to all devices including tablets as well as phones.

“These alerts will come through as a loud siren even if devices are on silent, and could alert an abuser to a concealed device.

“Refuge’s Technology-Facilitated Abuse and Economic Empowerment Team have put together two videos on how to turn these alerts off, both on Android phones and on iPhones for anyone that is concerned that these alerts will put their safety at risk.

“We want to ensure as many survivors as possible know how to ensure these alerts are turned off on their hidden devices.

“We have more information on securing your devices – for example your location settings or privacy settings – on”

You can check an alert is genuine at here