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Received Emergency Alert on Phone!!! Here is what it means


Several smartphone users received an emergency alert from the Indian government on September 15 2023, around 12:19 PM. The alert came as a notification with a loud beep and a flashing message stating, "Emergency alert: severe." However, it's important to clarify that this was a planned test conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to assess the functionality of their newly implemented emergency alert system.


Mobile users in India had previously received a similar test alert on July 20 as part of the ongoing efforts to assess the emergency alert system in India. The alert, which includes a flashing message accompanied by a loud beeping noise, is designed to capture the user's attention and ensure that the alert message is received and read.


What is this message signifying? Why did it come as a pop-up notification? Let's discuss all this in our today's blog. Stay with us and read the blog till the end. 


What was the notification? 


The alert notification stated, "This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent through Cell Broadcasting System by the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India. Please ignore the message, as no action is required from your end. This message has been sent to test the Pan-India Emergency Alert system implemented by the National Disaster Management Authority. It aims to enhance public safety and provide timely alerts during emergencies. Timestamp: 15-09-2023, 12:19 PM”


The NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), in collaboration with relevant government agencies and telecommunication providers, coordinated this planned test to reach as many smartphone users as possible to check the reach and effectiveness of the alert system. The goal was to assess various aspects, including the speed of dissemination, the clarity of the message, and the public's reaction to sudden emergency alerts. 


Public Reaction to the Emergency Alert 


People got confused by the emergency alert received on their phones because they often get such unwanted messages and calls. Many people thought this alert might also be spam or a virus.


People started tweeting as soon as they received the notification; one of the users tweeted, "Did anyone else get the emergency alert test message, too? I am already thinking of meme possibilities of "Emergency alert: 


Another user tweeted, "Is there any virus in my phone? Something strange is happening. What is the solution? Shall I factory reset it? 


Such types of rumours and memes surrounding social media regarding the sudden message alert until:


DOT (Department of Telecommunications) said,


"These types of tests will be conducted from time to time across various regions of the country to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency alert broadcasting capabilities within the existing systems of various Mobile Operators and Cell Broadcast Systems.


The Cell Broadcast Alert System is a government agencies and emergency services to notify the public about potential threats and to provide essential information during critical situations. It is frequently used for sending out various emergency alerts, including severe hazard warnings (like Tsunamis, Flash Floods, and Earthquakes), public safety messages,

evacuation notices, and other crucial updates.


Why are Emergency alerts important? 


Sending these types of emergency alert notifications is a significant advantage, not only for the government but also for the public. It ensures that people are kept informed and updated in the event of any potential hazards or critical situations. These alerts are important for several reasons.


  1. Performing such tests is important for improving the Pan-India Emergency Alert system. They help authorities understand how fast the alerts are sent, how clear they are, and how many people receive them. This understanding allows them to improve the system, ensuring important information gets to people quickly during emergencies.


2.    These tests help authorities understand how people react to emergency alerts and what they know about them. In today's world, we get many notifications on our devices, these alert notifications are designed to teach people what makes emergency alerts unique and why they matter, especially in a national emergency.



3.    These planned tests promote trust and confidence in the emergency alert system. By clearly communicating that these are test messages and no action is required, people become more familiar with the alerts and understand their purpose. This awareness contributes to a smoother and more effective emergency response, ultimately saving lives and minimizing damage.


What we think at Prune 


Conducting such emergency tests not only promotes public safety but also plays a crucial role in improving the Pan India emergency alert system. It helps in determining how fast alerts go out, how clear they are, and how people react. 


The Department of Telecommunications conducted this trial test, but it should become a routine notification alerting everyone if something unexpected happens. Using social media platforms to reach more people with these alerts ensure that everyone gets the message at the exact time.


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