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Emergency Alert Service

Sometimes an autistic person may behave in a way that you wouldn't immediately link to sensory differences. A person who finds it difficult to process everyday sensory information can experience sensory overload, or information overload. Too much information can cause stress, anxiety, and possibly physical pain.

This is something I can resonate with as a neurodiverse adult, and have experienced in my life. At present day, I manage well with my senses, although from time to time, I will experience mild symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in terms of switches, washing my hands, door handles etc. Sound does not impact on my mental health or inflict any pain in my daily life, but I find that some environments can be overbearing, where I can’t even hear myself think! It’s worth noting that some autistic people on the spectrum will manage this by wearing ear defenders to block out any sound or noisy disturbances as a coping mechanism to avoid any upset or distress.

Tomorrow is the launch of the Emergency Alert Service, launched by the UK Government that will notify people about potential life-threatening events via their mobile phone devices. The emergency alert test will be run at 3pm on Sunday 23 April, lasting for approximately 10 seconds.

Emergency alerts will only be sent by the emergency services, or government departments, agencies and public bodies that deal with emergencies.

You may get alerts about severe flooding, fires or extreme weather, the Government said.

When you get an alert your mobile phone or tablet may:

🚨 Make a loud siren-like sound, even if it’s set on silent

🚨 Vibrate

🚨 Read out the alert

If you have a vision or hearing impairment, audio and vibration attention signals will let you know you have an emergency alert.

For many of us, the question is how do we turn the alerts off?

You can turn off emergency alerts on your phone settings at any time.

On iPhone, this is under Settings, and then Notifications – with toggles at the bottom to turn off Extreme Alerts and Severe Alerts.

On Android, the toggle is found emergency alerts are found under Settings, then Notifications, then Wireless Emergency Alerts.

The Government said the alerts will be secure, free to receive, and will not reveal anyone’s location or collect personal data.

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