CANADA — On November 28, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations will be issuing public test messages through Alert Ready, Canada’s emergency alerting system. Each province and territory will issue one test message to be distributed over television, radio and to compatible wireless devices at 1:55 p.m. local time, with the exception of Quebec, where the test will occur at 2:55 p.m. local time. This will be the second live Alert Ready test this year. The first occurred during Emergency Preparedness Week in May 2018.
The Alert Ready system was developed with many partners including federal, provincial, and territorial government agencies, Pelmorex, the broadcasting industry and wireless service providers. It has enabled government authorities to deliver emergency alerts to Canadians during threat-to-life situations over television and radio since 2015, and to compatible wireless devices since April 2018.
It is important to note that not all Canadians will receive the test alert on their wireless device. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including device compatibility, connection to an LTE network, cell tower coverage, device software and settings.
“There are a number of reasons why a person’s device might not receive the alert,” said CWTA President and CEO Robert Ghiz. “Everything from device compatibility, access or connection to an LTE network, and device software and settings can have an impact on whether or not the alert comes through. That’s why we’re encouraging all Canadians to check their device compatibility on their wireless service provider’s website, and ensure that their device has the latest software update installed.”
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has set the target that 50% of new devices currently available for sale in Canada must be compatible with Alert Ready. This target increases to 100 percent by April 2019. Over time, more devices will become compatible and more Canadians will be able to receive emergency alerts on their wireless device.
More than 100 emergency alerts have been successfully transmitted to Canadians over television, radio and wireless since April 2018. However, alerts have not been issued in all areas of Canada. A national test will provide an opportunity to validate the end-to-end performance and reliability of the system everywhere in Canada.
“Keeping Canadians safe and informed is of the utmost importance for us at Pelmorex. We have a long history of keeping people aware of critical and potentially life-threatening situations,” said Martin Bélanger, Director of Public Alerting at Pelmorex. “Testing all components across the country is an important and necessary part of any public alerting system.” Pelmorex is the operator of the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination system, which is the technical backbone of the Alert Ready system.
National system tests also help educate Canadians about Alert Ready and how it works on television, radio and wireless. Alert Ready was designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians. Test alerts demonstrate what an emergency alert will look and sound like in the event of a life-threatening situation.
For more information, visit https://www.alertready.ca/.