How emergency alerts work
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.
Your mobile phone or tablet does not have to be connected to mobile data or wifi to get alerts.
Emergency alerts are free. You do not need to sign up for them or download an app.
Reasons you will not get an alert
You will not receive alerts if your device is:
- turned off or in airplane mode
- connected to a 2G or 3G network
- wifi only
- not compatible
Compatible mobile phones and other 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 device settings for ‘emergency alerts’.
If you want to see an alert again
You can also search for emergency alerts on your mobile phone or tablet.
If you get reminders about an alert
Android phones and tablets may get more than one reminder about the same emergency alert. You can turn these reminders off through the ‘emergency alerts’ settings on your device.
Opting out of emergency alerts
You can opt out of emergency alerts, but you should keep them switched on for your own safety.
To opt out:
- Search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’.
- Turn off ‘severe alerts’ and ‘extreme alerts’.
If you still get alerts, contact your device manufacturer for help.
Your personal data
The emergency services and the UK government do not need your phone number to send you an alert.