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Residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being reminded that the Government’s new Emergency Alerts system will be tested nationally this Sunday April 23.

Emergency Alerts is a new UK government service that will warn people via their mobile phone if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby. 

To test the system, Emergency Alert messages will be sent to all compatible 4G and 5G mobile phones at 3pm on Sunday 23 April.

Jess Gibbons, Chief Operations Officer at BCP Council said; “The Emergency Alert looks and sounds very different to other types of messages such as SMS text messages.”

“Residents will hear a loud siren-like sound and feel a distinct vibration from their phone.”

“A message on the screen will tell them about the emergency and what they need to do, but these alerts are a test. Residents do not need to take any action.”

Depending on a phone’s features, the alert will also work with screen magnification and may read the Emergency Alert message out, having also overridden volume settings.

The unique noise emitted by the phone should also be audible for those who use a hearing aid.

If residents are on the road at this time, they should not hold their mobile phone while driving or riding a motorcycle. It is illegal to do so.

The advice from the Government is to continue driving as normal, staying in full control of the vehicle. If residents feel the need to look at their phone, they should find a safe and legal place to pull over first.

More information – including details on how to opt-out of the service – can be found at gov.uk/alerts

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