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24 B Dick St, Cambridge

Emergency Alert Text Message System Tested

So, hopefully, many of you got a very loud text message last Sunday night from Civil Defence – I did.

This was part of a brilliant new initiative which would allow Civil Defence to contact us and provide information and instructions in the event of a real emergency. Since most people keep their phones close these days, it’s the best way to reach the greatest number of people very quickly.

Currently only about a third of mobile users have the technology on their phones to support it but this will increase as people upgrade their phones over time. If you got the text there’s nothing else you have to do. You’re all set to receive important info in a civil defence emergency. If you didn’t get it (on Sunday the 26th between 6 and 7pm), then you might be able to solve this problem:

  • Make sure your phone has been updated to the latest operating system (Android Phones  iPhones)
  • Make sure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is activated. On an iPhone go to Settings, Notifications, Emergency Alerts. On an Android go to Settings or Messages.

You can’t turn this off, and I don’t know why you’d want to; even if your phone says you can disable it, you can’t.

Here’s a link to the Ministry of Civil Defence website if you’d like to know more, or leave some feedback.

Hopefully we don’t hear from them again anytime soon.