Alert Ready system adds wireless notifications April 6

Alert Ready system adds wireless notifications April 6

File photo.

File photo.

Emergency alerts issued through the national Alert Ready program will be available to compatible mobile devices starting Friday.

On April 6, wireless service providers will be able to send out threat-to-life alerts in the province from Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC) directly to people connected to a device, such as smartphones, to an LTE network.

Wireless alerts will be publicly tested for the first time on May 9 at 1:55 p.m., along with routine television and radio tests.

“Accurate and timely information in an emergency situation can save lives and livelihoods, and we need to deploy every tool available to alert people of potential public safety threats,” Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in a release.

“As technology improves, we are always looking for new ways to broaden our reach and reduce the time it takes to communicate critical safety information.”

You can see if your wireless device is compatible with the system at the Alert Ready website.

EMBC will initially issue alerts for tsunami threats only, but the province is considering future expansion of the Alert Ready system to include other hazards and emergencies.

Wireless alerts will provide instructions for a safe response to an emergency.

To get the alerts, mobile phones must be connected to a cellular network, be alert-compatible and within the alert area.

The wireless warnings will go along with the Provincial Emergency Notification System (PENS), social media, and local sirens, subscription-based text message alerts and other mechanisms.

“As the Province continues to refine its emergency management system, it is equally important that all British Columbians take their own steps to prepare by understanding the risks where they live and work, creating an emergency plan and assembling an emergency kit,” PENS Jennifer Rice said.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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