Emergency Alerts information for domestic abuse survivors

06 April 2023

The government is launching a service called Emergency Alerts service in the UK, which will warn individuals if there is a danger to life nearby. In an emergency situation, they will receive an alert on their mobile phone or tablet with advice about staying safe. The government does not need your mobile phone number or location to send you an alert.

The government will send alerts only if severe flooding, fires and extreme weather occur. The agencies responsible for sending these alerts are the emergency services, government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies. The government is planning a national test on 23 April 2023.

When an individual receives an alert, the phone will make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent, vibrate or read out the alert. This will last for around 10 seconds.

A secret phone can be a lifeline for survivors of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse charities in the UK have expressed concerns around the alerts, and advise survivors to turn them off on any secret phones. The charity Refuge has created a guide to show people how to turn off emergency alerts.

We encourage NHF members to share this information with staff and tenants to help mitigate any instances of domestic violence due to someone possessing a secret phone.