Alarmed? No, keep calm and carry on, urges new deputy prime minister
The public has been assured that they can ‘just swipe away’ when the government’s emergency alert sounds a loud alarm on millions of phones today.
Newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said it should be a matter of ‘keep calm and carry on’ when the 10-second trial opens this afternoon.
He added that people don’t need to take action, but stressed that in the future it could be “the sound that can save your life.”
Mr Dowden said: ‘Keep calm and carry on – that’s the British way and it’s exactly what the country will do if they get this test alert at 3pm today.
“Our main job is to keep people safe and this is another tool in the toolkit for emergencies, such as floods or wildfires, and where there is a real danger to life.
The public has been assured they can ‘simply swipe away’ a test of a new public alert system when it sounds a loud alarm on millions of phones on Sunday
The newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden outside Downing Street
“I would encourage people to remember that today is just a test. You don’t have to do anything and just swipe it away, just like any other message you receive.’
People who don’t want to receive the alerts can opt out in their device settings — but officials hope the life-saving potential of the messages means users will leave them on.
The siren-like sound, which the Cabinet Office assures won’t be more prominent than a cellphone’s loudest ringtone setting, will sound on all 4G and 5G devices unless they’re turned off or in airplane mode.
The test coincides with major events including the London Marathon and Premier League clashes between Bournemouth and West Ham, and Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur.