Emergency alerts will sound sirens and warnings on mobile phones with national testing expected within weeks
Emergency alerts which sound on mobile phones with a loud siren-like noise are expected to be tested nationwide within weeks.
A vast trial-run of the planned emergency system - nicknamed the 'Armageddon alarm' - is reportedly now in the planning that would set off the sirens on millions of people's devices across the UK.
The emergency alerts system, run by the government, is designed to make people aware of imminent danger through their phones and tablets.
Alerts, which are broadcast from mobile phone masts, can be activated if it is felt there is a danger to life nearby.
Phones or tablets within range will then be able to pick up and broadcast the warning, which may also come with written advice displayed on the screen as to how to stay safe and what action to take.
According to the National Resilience Framework, published by the government in December, the emergency alerts system is to be launched across the UK in 'early 2023' - but up until now the only tests of the system to have taken place happened in Reading more than a year ago with mostly Android devices.
Ahead of the system's planned national roll-out, wider trials are now expected to soon start happening in a mass national security test.
Mobile phone numbers are not required by the government in order to send out alerts to the public that will automatically trigger sounds or vibrations on technology lasting around 10 seconds at a time. However some devices can opt out of receiving the alerts by changing the settings stored within devices.
When the service eventually goes live, households could receive emergency alerts about incidents such as severe flooding, a fire, a terrorist attack or public health emergencies, says the government guide online.
Alerts will be sent only by emergency services, government departments and other public bodies responsible for co-ordinating emergency responses in the country.
It is not yet clear how and when further trials will take place but previous tests held in Reading sent people a short message which read: "This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action. To find out more, search for gov.uk/alerts."
With government plans to introduce the emergency alerts having been in place since 2013, some members of the Labour party have expressed concern at the apparent delay in fully rolling out the system since those initial tests in 2021.
In a tweet this weekend Labour MP and shadow paymaster general Fleur Anderson said: "Mobile phone alerts are a basic service but are only now being tested.
"We could face another Covid or other emergency tomorrow and I'm worried that the government is lagging far behind on keeping our country safe."