The UK government is due to test an emergency alert system on Sunday 23rd April, and members of the Harrow Online Group on Facebook have been sharing their thoughts about it.
Millions of mobile phones are set to receive a loud alarm and a message at 3pm on the day. It has now been revealed that the text will say the following: “The text that will appear will say: “This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.
“In a real emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe. Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information.
“This is a test. You do not need to take any action.”
Below are some of the Harrow Online Group member’s responses regarding the alert.
Mel Goldsworthy expressed frustration that the test was taking place on St George’s Day, saying “They could have done it last week.. but no.. they wait till the British people celebrate their national day. It’s almost like the parliament are spoiling for a fight.”
Tasha Collins, who experienced a similar system during a hurricane in the US, said “I think it is a good thing for any country to have. I was working in London during the 7/7 bombings and I would imagine they could use it for something like that. Instead, we wandered around deserted streets wondering how to get home.”
Helen M Anderson Durowoju wondered why people were complaining about the alert, arguing that “an alert which come a natural disaster or a missing child could really help!!”
Bill Chalmers pointed out that these alerts could be lifesaving, and suggested that concerns about being tracked were unfounded. “If you’re worried you’re being controlled just throw your phone away and put your foil hat back on,” he said.
Ashleigh Sturdy expressed concern that this system was just one example of many ways the government might be monitoring people without their consent. “If they can do something like this then what else are they doing without our consent,” she asked.
Charletta Tania dismissed these concerns, saying “It’s not an issue and I find it utterly bizarre there are people that think it’s a tool to track, control and get us to comply. People need to wake up a bit and stop thinking the whole world is against them.”
Partha Mishra didn’t see what all the fuss was about, saying “Just a test of implementation if required which I don’t think should be the case in the near future. Point of getting distracted is a null point considering the scores of spam that come in throughout the day.”
Jo Langford found the system a bit creepy, saying “I am finding this a bit creepy tbh ‘them’ knowing where I am to be able to alert me in the first place. It’s like living in the Big Brother house!!!! BUT that being said, I’ll leave my phone on cos I seldom go out anyway lol.”
Linda Harrison thought it was strange that some people were suspicious of the system, arguing that “We have the technology so why not use it? The signal is sent to all masts & will come to your phone from the mast. There’s not a bunch of people sitting there dialling every individual’s phone one by one?! I’m sure the people in WW2 were ok with the air raid sirens giving a warning, this isn’t any different.”
Lisa White had disabled the system, saying “It is a modern-day air raid siren in my opinion. just media scaremongering making us fear and doubt its intention. They are prone to stir up every action for a reaction. Turn your phone off if you don’t want to receive it. We have a choice.”
John Williams was curious about the system but wasn’t concerned, saying “Won’t bother me at all. But will be interested to see how many of the rumours are true or not. On Sunday we will all find out or not which of these are true.”
How do you feel about this? let us know via the Harrow Online socials.