Why emergency alerts are being sent to mobile phones in Paris

First trial of government alert system is being conducted by police

The message will be sent to those in the south-east of the city
Published Last updated

People in certain parts of Paris will receive a ‘test’ alert message on their mobile phones this morning (February 15) in a trial of France’s national disaster or crisis warning system.

It is the first trial of the FR-Alert of its kind in the capital, although the system has been tested before in other areas of France.

Read more: Millions of phones received tsunami alert in south of France

People in the 13th arrondissement (in the south-east of the city) will receive the message between 10:00 and 11:00, announced the city’s police prefecture.

This will include those who live, work, or are simply passing through as the FR-Alert system sends messages using geo-location of a mobile device.

The message will also cause mobile devices - including foreign devices - to emit a noise, even if they are in silent mode.

You can hear an example of the sound in this video explaining the alert system on YouTube.

The police prefecture said in a press release that “no action is expected” from people who receive the message, and this is simply an exercise to explain to people in the capital what the right course of action is in the event of a real incident.

In a real situation FR-Alert warnings may be sent out for natural disasters, industrial accidents, weather phenomena, and terrorist attacks among others.

Future tests are planned in the capital on March 22 (between 14:00 and 15:00 in the 15th arrondissement) and April 23 (between 12:00 and 13:00 in the 17th arrondissement).

Related articles

What to do if you live near Mediterranean and missed tsunami SMS alert

Will France’s FR-Alert warning system work with foreign phones?