This weekend, millions of iPhone and Android users will hear their smartphones blare out an automatic alarm, as part of the UK Government test of its new Emergency Alerts system. With climate change making natural disasters like flooding, storms and extreme weather more prevalent, this Government hopes to use this system to warn residents of impending danger. If you own a 4G or 5G device, the alert will flash up on your phone alongside a sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds even if your device is set to silent mode.
But whether you’re driving, or at the theatre enjoying a film, there could be a number of reasons why you wouldn’t want your phone to ring this Sunday at 3 PM.
If you wish to turn off the alarm before it rings, there are ways you can do it.
Turning the alarm off for iPhones
If you have an iPhone, you can turn it off by going to the Settings menu and pressing Notifications.
Once selected, you can then scroll to the bottom of the page to reach the Emergency Alerts menu.
READ MORE: UK iPhone and Android alert as advice issued to all users this week
If your device is running on iOS 14.5 or later, you can choose to turn off both Severe alerts and Emergency alerts.
Turning the alarm off for Android.
Similarly, Android users will need to search for “emergency alerts” in the settings menu on their device to turn it off.
If your phone is running on Android 11 or newer software, you will be able to turn it off.
Turning the alarm off for Huawei
If your Huawei phone is running EMUI 11 software, you can turn off ‘Extreme threats’, ‘Severe threats’ and ‘Show amber alerts’ by heading to the Settings tab.
When the clock strikes 3 pm this Sunday, your phone’s screen will lock and a message will appear that reads, “This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.
“In an actual emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe. Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information. This is a test. You do not need to take any action.”
Along with revealing more details about what UK users can expect, the government has also issued advice about when to ignore the alert. In fact, those driving cars or riding bikes are being told to leave their devices alone.
“You should not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert whilst driving or riding a motorcycle,” the UK government said.
“If you are driving, you should continue to drive and not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.
“Find somewhere safe and legal to stop before reading the message. If there is nowhere safe or legal to stop close by, and nobody else is in the vehicle to read the alert, tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until you can find somewhere safe and legal to stop.”