Government sends emergency alert text to mobile users. Why you should not panic

Received a message on your phone that read ‘Emergency Alert: Severe’? If yes, then you are not alone.

Several users are getting messages on their smartphones that stated “This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent through Cell Broadcasting System by the Department of Telecommunication, Government of India. Please disregard this message as no action is necessary on your part. This message has been transmitted to TEST the Pan-India Emergency Alert System currently being implemented by the National Disaster Management Authority. Its purpose is to enhance public safety and provide prompt alerts during emergencies.”

Should you be worried about the message? Well, no. As stated in the message itself, it is a sample message dispatched by the Department of Telecommunication to evaluate the functionality of its emergency alert system.

As per a statement dated July 20 by the Department of Telecommunications, these evaluations will occur periodically across different regions throughout the country. The aim is to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the emergency alert broadcasting capabilities of the Mobile Operators and Cell Broadcast System already in place.

 

The Department of Telecommunication employed this test message to verify its emergency alert system.

The Department of Telecommunication highlights that the cell broadcast alert system is a technology that enables the government to transmit vital and time-sensitive messages related to disaster management to all mobile devices within a designated geographical area, irrespective of whether the recipients are residents or visitors.

The government asserts that this alert system ensures the dissemination of crucial emergency information to a maximum number of individuals promptly. It serves as a tool for government agencies and emergency services to apprise the public of potential threats and to keep them informed.

Cell Broadcast is frequently used to convey emergency alerts, including severe weather notifications such as tsunamis, flash floods, earthquakes, and more.

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Updated: 17 Aug 2023, 06:46 PM IST