TWO weekends hence, on Sunday April 23, every mobile phone user, adults and children alike, will be assailed by an unpredecented ‘emergency alert’.
You will hear a loud siren-like sound for up to ten seconds. You must acknowledge it on your phone screen before you can return to other features on your phone.
This is the first nationwide use of a new system being launched by the Government to ‘warn you about serious nearby threats to life’. You can read the Government spiel about it here.
It says: ‘Emergency Alerts will be used very rarely – only being sent where there is an immediate risk to people’s lives – so people may not receive an alert for months, or even years.’ Examples given are wildfires and flooding, but it also mentions an ‘an ever-evolving range of threats’.
It adds: ‘The alerts are secure, free to receive, and one-way. They do not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data.’
However, many are suspicious that this system is not as innocuous as they would have you believe.
One is vlogger Richard Vobes, the ‘Bald Explorer’. He predicts that we will be warned to keep out of the countryside because of bird flu. Why? Because we can’t be controlled so easily out and about amongst fields and hills.
You can see his vlog here.
However you can opt out of the emergency alerts system. Open your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Notifications’. Scroll all the way down till you see ‘Emergency Alerts’, which you probably did not know were there. There are two, ‘Extreme’ and ‘Severe’. If they are switched on, there is a green sign with a white circle to the right. Slide the circle to the left and the green goes grey. It is then off.