People across the country will receive a “warning of disaster” alert on their mobile phones next month.

The warning is part of a government test of a new public notification system.

The siren-like alert will be sent to every compatible phone during the test, and is expected to be heard on Sunday, April 23.

The Cabinet Office has said the alerts are secure, and one-way, confirming they do not reveal anyone’s location and cannot collect personal data.

What does the emergency alert sent by the government sound like?

The alert will appear on your device and you will hear a loud siren-like sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds, Sky News reports.

The alert will appear as a notification and may include phone numbers or website links with further information.

Tests of the service have already taken place in East Suffolk and Reading.

The scheme could eventually be expanded to cover terrorist incidents but much more information about how the alerts system operates in the UK would be needed.

Do I have to receive the emergency alert sent by the government?

People who do not wish to receive the alerts will be able to opt out in their device settings, but officials hope the life-saving potential of the messages means that users will keep them on.

The alerts will only ever come from the government or emergency services, and they will include the details of the area affected and provide instructions about how best to respond.

The government said the alerts are secure, free to receive, and one-way, insisting they do not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data.

Peeblesshire News:

National Fire Chiefs Council chairman Mark Hardingham said the new system would help fire and rescue services to do their jobs "and to help communities in the event of emergencies".

He said: “We’ve seen this type of system in action elsewhere across the world and we look forward to having the facility here in the UK – by working together with fire services and partners, we want this system to help us to help you be as safe as you can if a crisis does hit.”

Executive director for flood and coastal erosion risk management at the Environment Agency, Caroline Douglas, said: “Being able to communicate warnings in a timely and accurate manner during incidents is really important to help people take action to protect themselves, their families, and their neighbours.”