B.C. tests emergency alert system Wednesday afternoon

B.C. tests emergency alert system Wednesday afternoon
The B.C. emergency alert message that went out on Nov. 27, 2019.

Cellphones across Vancouver Island and the rest of B.C. buzzed and made a sound on Wednesday afternoon as the province tested its emergency alert system.

Emergency Management B.C. issued B.C.’s test alert on Nov. 27 at 1:55 p.m. PST. During the test, the alert was sent to all compatible cellphones and was broadcast on radio and television stations.

Along with the alert tone, the public also saw the following message:

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.ca. This is ONLY a TEST, no action is required.

The AlertReady system was also tested across Canada on Wednesday.

The system revealed several glitches when it was first tested last year, with many people reporting they had not received an alert on their phones. To receive alerts, cellphones must be connected to a cellular network and must have up-to-date software.

Anyone who experienced issues during Wednesday’s test can fill out an online survey with Public Emergency Alerting Services. 

The Alert Ready system was launched in B.C. in April 2018, and it’s meant to rapidly warn the public of any “imminent or unfolding hazards to life.” Currently, Emergency Management BC will only use Alert Ready to notify of a potential tsunami. The RCMP in BC have the ability to use Alert Ready to notify of an AMBER Alert.

As the system is expanded to include other hazards, there will be subsequent testing.

The alert program is a collaborative initiative between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

With files from CBC 


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!