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Emergency Alert Tests In Easingwold

Mobile phone

7:16am 18th September 2013

People in Easingwold could get a text today as the government tests it's version of emergency alerts.

Tests to ensure that people can receive alerts to their mobile phone in the event of an emergency will take place in selected locations throughout the country this autumn, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude announced today.

Three tests in specific parts of Yorkshire, Suffolk and Glasgow are intended to test how various alerting technologies work and the public's reaction to them.

Francis Maude said: "The government and three mobile phone companies O2, Vodafone and EE, will conduct separate tests later this year to look at a how different technologies work and how the public react when they receive an emergency alert to their phone.

"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.

"Messages will be sent to mobile phones in the test areas by SMS in parts of Suffolk and Glasgow, and by SMS and Cell Broadcasting in parts of Yorkshire.  In total approximately fifty thousand people across the three areas may receive the messages.

"The message itself will make clear that it is only a test and I do not want the public to be alarmed in any way.  We are also looking for help from the public in evaluating how well the tests worked and how they felt about receiving messages in this wayand we would welcome the public’s views which they can provide via an online survey or a series of focus groups. Further details about this will be made available locally.

"I want to thank the three mobile phone companies that are taking part, for working with us to test this technology.  Ensuing 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".

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