Emergency Alerts is a new service from the UK government. It’s expected to launch in summer 2021.

Emergency alerts will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby.



In an emergency, your phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.


Reasons you might get an alert

The government and mobile phone networks are testing emergency alerts.

You may get an alert if you live in, or travel through, a test area.




When the service is live

You may get alerts about:

  • severe flooding

  • fires

  • explosions

  • terrorist incidents

  • public health emergencies

How it works

Emergency alerts are broadcast from mobile phone masts. Every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range will receive an alert.

The government does not need your phone number to send you an alert.


How emergency alerts work

Emergency alerts work like a radio broadcast.


In an emergency, mobile phone masts in the surrounding area will broadcast an alert. Every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range of a mast will receive the alert.

What you need to know

The emergency services and the UK government do not need your phone number to send you an alert.


You will get alerts based on your current location – not where you live or work.

No one will collect or share data about you, your device or your location when you receive an alert.


You will not get alerts if your device is turned off or in aeroplane mode.


Emergency alerts are free. You do not need to sign up for them or download an app.

You can opt out of some emergency alerts, but you should keep them switched on for your own safety.


Phone handsets and devices

Make sure your device has all the latest software updates.

Emergency alerts work on:

  • iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later

  • Android phones and tablets running Android 11 or later

If you have an earlier version of Android, you may still be able to receive alerts. To check, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’.


Mobile phone networks

Emergency alerts work on all 4G and 5G phone networks in the UK.

Phones and tablets connected to a 2G or 3G network will not receive emergency alerts.


Emergency alerts do not cause, and are not affected by, busy phone networks.


If you cannot receive emergency alerts

The emergency services have other ways to warn you when lives are in danger.


Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media.