You will not receive alerts if you opt out of the upcoming U.K. emergency alert

By: Pallavi Sethi
April 21 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
You will not receive alerts if you opt out of the upcoming U.K. emergency alert


The Verdict Misleading

To avoid receiving alerts, go to your phone settings, find the “Test alerts” or “Emergency alerts” settings, and switch them off.

Claim ID 7d222b04


On March 19, 2023, the U.K. government announced the launch of "life-saving" emergency alert systems that will caution people when there is a risk to their life, such as weather warnings like floods or wildfires. Under the plan, every phone in the U.K. will receive a national test message at 3 p.m. GMT on Sunday, April 23The alert on the phone will make a "siren-like sound" for 10 seconds. Since the announcement, Logically Facts has found social media users making false claims about the alert system. One Facebook user included an image in a post that has been shared over 150 times, stating that the alert system will create a sound even if the phone is "switched off or notifications are off." The post further cautions domestic abuse survivors to switch off their phones at the time of the alert. Although it's true that phones will receive notifications even when they are on silent, it is possible to opt out of the service to avoid receiving the alert, without switching off your phone.

In Fact

People can unsubscribe from the upcoming U.K. alert system by going to their phone settings, finding the "Test alerts" or "Emergency alerts" settings, and switching them off. If you are a survivor of domestic abuse and have a secondary phone, you will need to opt out of the alerts to avoid receiving the notification and sound. Alternatively, you can put your phone on airplane mode or turn it off. Unsubscribing from the alerts or placing the phone in airplane mode means that domestic violence survivors do not need to completely turn off their phone.

The alert, free of service, will appear as a notification on the phone. People who do not unsubscribe from the alert must acknowledge it by clicking on the message to dismiss it. The message may be accompanied by links that contain further information. Countries like the U.S. and France have similar systems in use.

The Facebook user who shared incomplete information about the alert has been known to spread disinformation. Logically Facts has previously checked several false claims surrounding the alert system. 

The Verdict

The claim in question fails to provide complete information about the upcoming U.K. alert system. We have therefore rated it as misleading. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before