On Sunday 23 April at 3pm HM Gov will be sending a UK-wide Emergency Alerts test message to all compatible devices – i.e. all things 4G or 5G. When you receive the message, your phone or tablet may vibrate and make a loud siren-like sound for about ten seconds, even if it is set on ‘silent’. An inane message will appear on your screen, trying to stop you from panicking, should you be sufficiently disadvantaged to have missed all the prior hoo-hah ahead of Sunday, or to have paid it no heed for whatever reason.
As this is going to be just a test run ahead of any real emergency – Boris standing for PM again, Record Store Day being cancelled, 30 kilotons heading swiftly for your local area, that sort of thing, it’s just a royal PITA for most people.
Imagine being jolted from your post-prandial slumbers, comatose on your Parker-Knoll Recliner dreaming about Stevie Nicks and what might have been, if only. It might be enough to trigger that final, fatal, massive cardiac event, or at least spill that ill-advised second G&T the size of Wiltshire.
For my part, I’m just going to put my phone inside the microwave at the appointed time and take advantage of its Faraday Cage effect. If it still goes off I’ll just give the bugger 60 seconds at 650 watts. That ought to do it. Can’t be arsed with all this crap – if the big one is en route I am only interested in knowing ahead of time if I can be warned sufficiently far in advance to put some Zeppelin on my big fat Sennheisers at monster volume. What a waste of money! Duck & Cover! Protect & Survive!
How are all my Afterword UK compadres taking this – are you going to delve into the nightmare that is the icon marked ‘Settings’ and tell your phone to shut the f*ck up when the 3 minute warning sounds, or do you think it your civic duty to participate in this vital socially responsible test run? Do tell.