If your phone just made a loud buzzing sound, don’t panic - you’re part of the 90 per cent of the country to receive a mobile alert.
Civil Defence once again tested its emergency mobile alert systems. The message was sent to people’s phones at 6.17pm today.
It was the fifth time the Government agency carried out an annual test of the service.
Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty acknowledged it can come as a shock to people.
“Please let your family members know,” he said in an earlier statement.
The test is designed to check the systems, cell towers and phones are all still capable of receiving the message, which these days most people will receive.
“Most of us will be familiar with the system and alert sound.”
Tonight’s alert read: “You may receive an Emergency Mobile Alert like this if there is serious danger to life, health or property in your area”.
“Emergency Mobile Alert uses internationally proven cell broadcast technology, meaning there is no need to subscribe or download an app – all you need is a mobile phone capable of receiving Emergency Mobile Alerts, and a network signal,” McAnulty said.
During an actual unfolding emergency, the alert might be sent to target areas affected by serious hazards. People who get an alert should stop, read the message and “take it seriously”.
“It will tell you what the emergency is and what to do. It will also tell you which agency sent the message and, if needed where to go for more information.”
Government findings revealed that 95 per cent of the country’s population either received the 2022 mobile alert test or were near someone else who did.
The minister called the coverage “really good”. He expected a similar proportion to receive the test tonight.
People who don’t receive a text are encouraged to give feedback to Civil Defence using an online form. This allows Civil Defence to collect non-personal information for the improvement of the alert system.
“No form of technology is completely failsafe, you should also rely on other alerting channels such as radio or social media, or the need to act upon natural warning signs,” he said.
“If you feel your life is in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. For example, remember, if you are near the coast and an earthquake is ‘Long or Strong, Get Gone’.”