People in east Suffolk are to receive an emergency alert message on their phone tomorrow as part of a Government trial.

The new Emergency Alerts service would send a direct message only where there is a risk to life, either locally or nationally.

This could include public health emergencies, severe floods, fires, industrial incidents and terror attacks.

Ahead of its introduction, the first in a series of trials will take place in Leiston and neighbouring Sizewell tomorrow where residents will receive a test alert message.

The area was chosen because residents already have an alert system and because Leiston has a coastal border and low population density, which allows the test to be carefully measured and targeted for effectiveness.

If you do receive a test alert you don't need to do anything – it is just a test to ensure the effectiveness of the service.

The alerts are free to receive, and one-way. They do not reveal your location and do not collect any personal data.

Should the tests prove successful the capability will be made available for use across the whole of the UK later this year.

Alerts will issue a warning and clear instructions about how best to respond and will include a link to where people can check whether an alert has been issued, to verify its origin.

The Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt, said: "The Emergency Alerts service will be a vital tool in helping us to better respond to emergencies, both nationally and locally. This new system builds on existing capability and will allow us to more quickly and effectively get life-saving messages to people across the UK."