In the UK at last plans to launch an emergency alert system in 2021. Public trials will begin this month and, all going well, the system will be up and running across the UK later this year.
The government plans to send alerts only when there is a risk to life at the local or national level. Those risks include public health emergencies, severe flooding, fires, industrial accidents and terrorist attacks. The alert will include a warning, details on the affected area, advice on what to do and a link to a government website with more information.
The system does not need to know the phone numbers of recipients or specific locations. Phone providers do not share any personal information as part of this system as alerts are sent to all mobile devices in a specific area. When an authority (both the government and an emergency service) sends an alert, it will take between four and 10 seconds for the public to receive it.
“The Emergency Alert service will be a vital tool to help respond better to emergencies, both nationally and locally,” Penny Mordaunt said in a statement. “The concept was used to good effect during the pandemic when we asked people, via text message, to stay home to protect the NHS and save lives. This new system builds on this capability and will allow us to get life more quickly and efficiently – save messages to people across the UK ”.
Other countries have had such systems for years, including the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand. Alerts sent after the incident like earthquakes they helped save lives.
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