Home Business & Economy Emergency Management Emergency alert test May 8 on smartphones, radio & TV

Emergency alert test May 8 on smartphones, radio & TV

Cellphones must be alert-compatible, be within the alert area & have up-to-date cellular software.

national public alerting system, public safety canada
National Public Alerting System [Public Safety Canada - 2024]

Saturday May 4, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

An emergency alert test on Wednesday May 8, 2024 will be issued to cellphones, television and radio at 10:55 a.m. (Pacific time).

The activity is part of Emergency Preparedness Week.

The test alert will go to all compatible cellphones, and will interrupt radio and television broadcasts. Alerts will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user.

public alert system, media, public
Alerts are sent to the public via smartphones, news media and other public alert systems. [Public Safety Canada – 2024]

This test will assess the system’s readiness for an actual emergency and identify any required adjustments.

Alerts include range of threats:

In 2022, the Province expanded the use of BC Emergency Alerts beyond tsunami warnings to include imminent threats from floods, wildfires and extreme heat emergencies.

In addition, the police issue alerts for civil emergencies and Amber Alerts, and the federal government issues emergency alerts for events and hazards related to federal responsibilities, including tornadoes, thunderstorms, storm surge and hurricanes.

national public alerting system, public safety canada
National Public Alerting System [Public Safety Canada – 2024]

What to do when you receive an alert:

Alert awareness includes knowing that in real-time emergencies only affected/impacted areas will receive an alert. As well, when receiving an alert it is *not* necessary to call 9-1-1-. See What to do when you receive an alert.

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The BC Emergency Alert system was launched on April 6, 2018, and is tested twice a year in spring and fall.

This came into effect following a 2014 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision that all radio and television broadcasters in Canada be mandated to broadcast public alerts.

On April 6, 2017, the CRTC mandated wireless service providers be capable of sending wireless public alerts in Canada by April 6, 2018.

More about the National Public Alerting System.

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Canada Earthquake Early Warning system:

In spring 2024, Natural Resources Canada will launch the Canada Earthquake Early Warning system, which includes issuing emergency alerts.

Earthquake early-warning systems rapidly detect earthquakes and can provide crucial seconds of warning before the strong shaking arrives.

Active in wildfire season:

During the 2023 wildfire season, the Province issued 24 BC Emergency Alerts that provided timely, potentially life-saving information to people when they needed it.

Tech profile:

  • To receive alerts, cellphones must be connected to an LTE cellular network. The device must be turned on and cannot be set to do not disturb or airplane mode.
  • The device mus be alert-compatible, be within the alert area and have up-to-date cellular software.
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Local governments may participate:

In the event of an emergency, the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness may issue emergency alerts to cellphones, radios and televisions on behalf of a local governments or First Nations, at their request.

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Public survey after the test:

British Columbians may participate in a short online survey following the test to help determine the reach of the Alert Ready test.

The survey is administered by Public Emergency Alerting Services Inc. in both English survey & French Survey.

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