Get ready to hear or see an alert on your cellphone at 1:55 p.m.
Canada’s emergency notification system, called Alert Ready, will be interrupting TV and radio broadcasts and sending test notifications to compatible cellphones.
All provinces and territories except Ontario and Quebec will be part of the test. Ontario and Quebec have decided it would be too disruptive to send unnecessary alert tones to people dealing with historic flooding in those provinces.
In British Columbia, the notifications will roll out at 1:55 p.m.
During the test, the public will hear this alert tone and hear or see the following message on radio, TV, and compatible wireless devices:
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.
In order to receive emergency alerts on a cellphone it must be a smartphone that is able to use the LTE (or 4G) network for high-speed wireless communication, wireless public alerting compatible, have up-to-date software, be connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued and within the emergency alert area.
The public is asked not to call 911 for additional information about the test. If a cellphone is set to silent, there will usually be no sound with the emergency alert message. However, sometimes an alert sound can override user settings depending on the service provider.
Alert Ready is designed to warn about natural disasters, biological and terrorist threats and civil emergencies, as well as localized Amber Alerts.
In May 2018, authorities tested the system over multiple days but many Canadians reported they didn’t get the notifications on their devices. The second round of testing took place in November 2018.
For more information and to see if your cellphone is compatiblevisit the Alert Ready website here.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC