New Emergency Alerts service to be tested in Reading

A new Emergency Alerts service will be tested in Reading on 29 June between 1 and 2pm.

The new service will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone if their lives are at risk in an emergency. The service will be used to warn you about life-threatening emergencies such as severe flooding or terror attacks.

Emergency Alerts are messages sent to all compatible 4G and 5G mobile phones when there’s a danger to your life, health or property in the area you’re located. They don’t need your phone number or track your location. Only the Government and the emergency services can send them. You’ll be able to check that an alert is genuine at

Emergency Alerts will be just one of the ways the Government communicates with the public about emergency situations. If you don’t have a mobile phone, don’t worry – you’ll still be made aware through the media and local emergency services.

An Emergency Alert looks and sounds very different to other types of messages such as SMS ‘text messages’. You’ll know if you get an Emergency Alert because you’ll hear a loud siren-like sound and your phone will use a distinct vibration. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and what you need to do. Depending on your phone’s features, the alert will work with screen magnification and may read the message out for you having also overridden volume settings. The unique noise emitted by the phone should also be audible for those who use a hearing aid.

The government will be testing the Emergency Alerts service in Reading on 29 June between 1 and 2pm. If you receive a test alert on your phone, you won’t need to do anything, just remember their look and feel in case you receive one again.

To find out more about how it works visit

Publication date: 24 June 2021

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