Emergency alert mobile phone technology to be tested in UK

An emergency alert system which will send information to the public who are in areas affected by flooding or industrial accidents will be tested in parts of the UK, the government has announced.
The pilots in Yorkshire, Suffolk and Glasgow are intended to test how alerting technologies work and how the public will react to them.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said approximately 50,000 people across the three areas will receive the messages, which will be clearly marked as a test.

“I want to reassure the public that these tests are not linked to any threat or specific hazard in their area. We have included diverse areas - both rural and urban – as part of our tests, as we want to look at how effective the different systems are in different areas in using mobile phones to deliver mass messaging”, he said.

The 3 mobile phone companies O2, Vodafone and EE will conduct the tests this autumn.

“Ensuring that local areas receive quick accurate information in the event of an emergency is crucial to an effective response and the information that we receive from these tests will help us develop systems that local emergency responders will be able to use in the future”, said Maude.

Once the trials have been conducted,  a report will be produced in early 2014, detailing the findings of the trials and recommending a way forward for consideration by the government.

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