19/04/2023 - Permalink

Government’s Emergency Alerts: information for people experiencing domestic abuse

Related topics: Corporate / Partner organisations

The nationwide test of the UK’s Emergency Alerts service is on Sunday 23 April 2023 at 3pm. The alerts will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby, such as flooding or fires.

Emergency Alerts on mobile phones - Sunday 23 April 2023 at 3pm infographic

Emergency Alerts on mobile phones – Sunday 23 April 2023 at 3pm

However, there are concerns about the potential safety risks to people who may be keeping their phones hidden from an abuser, as the alert is a loud, siren-like sound with a screen message and vibration.

The charity Refuge have created a video guiding you through the ways you can disable alerts. That can be watched on their YouTube channel.

People can opt out from receiving emergency alerts to avoid their device from being detected.

How to opt 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, contact your device manufacturer for help.

Emergency Alerts will be sent to compatible mobile phones within an area of risk.

Emergency alerts work on:-

  • iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later
  • Android phones and tablets running Android 11 or later.

The alerts may still be received on earlier versions of Android. 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’.

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
  • wifi only
  • not compatible.

To find out more about Emergency Alerts, visit the Government website.