NL-Alert test to take place on Monday at noon
NL-Alert, the government’s emergency alert system will send a loud test notification out to all active and charged mobile phones in the Netherlands on Monday at noon. The text message will come in with a shrill, piercing sound, and it is advised not to wear headphones at that time.
No action is necessary once a person receives the warning. The alert is sent out automatically via Dutch telecom masts, so anyone in a border area connected to a Belgian or German tower might not receive the test message. Using airplane mode, or an older 2G or 3G network can also block the message. Some phones also have an option to disable the alerts.
The NL-Alert system is used in case of a life- or health-threatening situation, such as a large fire or unexpected storm. Warnings can be localized to a region, or sent out nationally. The message contains information on how the recipient can keep themselves and others out of danger.
Should an emergency come up, the local security region decides which area the NL-Alert will be broadcast depending on the severity of the situation and the weather. For example, if a fire in an industrial area caused a poisonous cloud to develop, the joint control center for the police, fire brigade and ambulance can send a text message to all affected areas depending on the strength of the wind that day.
“NL-Alert can be seen on a growing number of digital signage at train, bus, tram and metro stops. You will also see NL-Alert on more and more digital advertising displays,” the Dutch government said about the system.
The service is anonymous and free of charge. Messages are supposed to be delivered even if the mobile network is overloaded.