Brits to be sent SOS text alerts to warn of terror attacks, fires and flooding

Watch: Emergency alerts for terror attacks, floods and other disasters to be sent directly to phones

Brits will be sent SOS text alerts to warn of terror attacks, fires and severe flooding as part of a new government trial.

The Cabinet Office revealed on Sunday that its new “Emergency Alerts” warning service will be trialled in East Suffolk on 25 May.

The new technology will see Brits receive an alert directly to their mobile phone if there is a risk to life, either locally or nationally.

This could include a warning of a public health emergency, a terror attack, industrial incident, fire or flood.

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The alert text message, which will be free to receive, will also provide advice on how to best respond in the event of a serious emergency.

Mobile operators will send out the information using the latest 4G and 5G technology.

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The system will build on the use of messaging during the pandemic when Brits were told to stay at home.

Similar alert services have been used in the US, Canada, South Korea and Japan as well as New Zealand where it has been credited with saving lives during earthquakes.

If the East Suffolk trail is successful, the government will roll out the technology for the whole of the UK later this year.

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Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt said: “The Emergency Alerts service will be a vital tool in helping us to better respond to emergencies, both nationally and locally.

“This new system builds on existing capability and will allow us to more quickly and effectively get life-saving messages to people across the UK.”

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