Scotland is taking part in the UK’s trial of a mobile phone emergency alert warning system

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A new emergency mobile alert service will be launched across the UK today, Sunday 19 March.

Scotland will take part in a trial of a UK government system that will use new mobile broadcasting technology to save lives during emergencies.

A test message will be released to mobile phones across the UK, including in Scotland, as part of the UK-wide test of the service on Sunday 23 April.

Using new mobile broadcast technology, the system will provide a way to issue urgent messages to nearly 90 percent of mobile phones in a given area when there is a threat to life during an emergency, providing clear instructions on how to respond.

Key Justice and Resilience Minister Keith Brown said: “This new service builds on the arrangements we already have with first responders and other key organizations in Scotland to keep people safe during emergencies and save lives.

“The system has already been used successfully abroad in other countries including New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan and the USA, where it is credited with saving lives during severe weather events and earthquakes.

“During rare events where there is an imminent threat to life, alerts can be sent directly to people’s cell phones with clear instructions explaining what action to take and how to seek help.”

Alerts will only come from government or emergency services, and they will issue a warning, always include details of the affected area, and provide guidance on how best to respond – link to people can get more information.

Emergency alerts are rarely used – they are sent only when there is an immediate threat to people’s lives – so people may not receive an alert for months or even years.

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