Canada's public emergency alert system testing on BC mobile devices this week

Nov 25 2019, 4:45 pm

A test of BC’s wireless alerting system will be conducted this week as part of the national Alert Ready system to improve public safety in the event of an emergency.

Taking place this Wednesday, November 27, at 1:55 pm, the alert is part of a biannual test of the national Alert Ready system, which was launched in BC on April 6, 2018.

The testing is designed to assess the system’s readiness for an actual emergency and identify any adjustments that need to be made.

During the test, an alert will be broadcast on radio and television stations as well as on compatible wireless devices. The test message will read:

“This is a TEST of the British Columbia Emergency Alerting System, issued by Emergency Management British Columbia. This is ONLY a TEST.
If this had been an actual emergency or threat, you would now hear instructions that would assist you to protect you and your family. For further information, go to: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
This is ONLY a TEST. No action is required.”

The National Public Alerting System, publicly branded as Alert Ready, is a collaborative initiative among federal-provincial-territorial governments and industry partners. It provides a standard alerting capability to rapidly warn the public of imminent or unfolding hazards to life.

To receive alerts, mobile phones must be connected to a cellular network, be alert compatible, be within the alert area, and have up-to-date cellular software. Alerts will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user.

In accordance with a 2014 Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision, all radio and television broadcasters in Canada are mandated to broadcast public alerts. On April 6, 2017, the CRTC mandated wireless service providers to be capable of sending wireless public alerts in Canada by April 6, 2018.

Following the test, BC residents can participate in a short online survey to help determine the reach of the Alert Ready test.