Emergency alert sounds on cell phones across B.C. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Emergency alert sounds on cell phones across B.C.

November 25, 2020 - 2:05 PM

In times of crisis, a new B.C. alert system will be ready to provide instructions right to your phone.

Today, Nov. 25 at 1:55 p.m., cell phones, radio and television stations broadcast a message in order to test B.C.'s wireless alerting system as part of the national Alert Ready system to improve public safety in the event of emergency.

The test is part of a biannual test of the national Alert Ready system, which was launched in B.C. on April 6, 2018. This testing is designed to assess the system's readiness for an actual emergency and identify any adjustments that need to be made. A scheduled test in May 2020 was cancelled across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a ministry press release.

During the test, an alert was broadcast on radio and television stations, as well as on compatible wireless devices.

The test message should have 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 an initiative between 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.


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