NL-Alert test happening at noon today
The NL-Alert system will be tested at noon on Monday. All active and charged mobile phones in the Netherlands should get the text message. It will arrive with a shrill, piercing notification, so avoid wearing headphones at that time.
NL-Alert is the government's emergency alert system, used to inform people of emergencies and what steps to take. The alert is sent out automatically via Dutch telecom masts. Anyone in a border area whose phones are connected to a Belgian or German tower might not receive the message. Phones in airplane mode or connected to an older 2G or 3G network may also not get it.
The government tests the system roughly every six months, usually on the first Monday in December and in June. Last week Monday was Whit Monday, so the test got postponed by a week. The test message requires no action. It may also appear on digital signage at train, bus, tram, and metro stops, as well as some digital advertising displays. The service is anonymous and free of charge. Messages are supposed to be delivered even if the mobile network is overloaded.
NL-Alert can send out messages to localized regions or nationally in the event of a life- or health-threatening situation, such as a large fire or unexpected storm. The message contains information on how the recipient can keep themselves and others safe.