Safeguarding and the National Emergency Alert
12th April 2023
The government is rolling out a new Emergency Alert system. The alert will be sent to a mobile phone or tablet and used to let people know about emergency situations like severe flooding/fires/extreme weather/danger to life nearby. The alert will include a phone number or link to the GOV.UK website for more information on how to stay safe.
What will happen when we get an alert?
The alert will be accompanied by a loud 10-second siren sound, the phone may vibrate or read out the alert. Click the YouTube video below to listen to the siren…
What if the device does not have data, is on silent or cannot connect to Wi-Fi?
The alert will be sent to compatible 4G and 5G devices. They do not have to have mobile data or be connected to Wi-Fi to get the alert.
Why could this be a safeguarding concern?
If for any reason, someone has a secret mobile phone, for example, hidden from an abusive partner, the siren may alert others to that fact.
Victims’ Commissioner, Nicky Brennan said
“I know first-hand of many victims of domestic abuse who have a concealed phone as a lifeline, allowing them to keep in touch with friends and family or to be used in an emergency.”
“While the emergency alert system is understandable, it is also vital we raise awareness that this can be switched off for those who need it. I urge anybody who has a concealed phone, for their own safety, to switch off these alerts.”
How can the siren be disabled?
The following video explains how the siren can be disabled by switching off these emergency alerts in your settings app, for both Android and Apple devices.