Alert Ready system being tested today in most provinces

by - 2 min read

Alert Ready system being tested today in most provinces

by - 2 min read

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Emergency officials will run another test of Canada’s emergency alert system later today.

If all goes according to plan, the emergency notification system called Alert Ready will interrupt TV and radio broadcasts and send test notifications to compatible mobile devices.

All provinces and territories except Quebec and Ontario will be part of the test. The two provinces are opting out because officials don’t want to send unnecessary alerts to residents still trying to cope with historic flooding.

According to the Alert Ready website, the notifications will roll out at the following times:

(alertready.ca)

Alert Ready aims to provide rapid information on issues ranging from Amber Alerts to natural disasters.

Previous tests of the system, however, have revealed some issues with the system.

Not all devices work

In May 2018, authorities tested the system over multiple days but many Canadians reported they didn’t get the notifications on their devices.

A second round of testing took place in November 2018.

The Alert Ready website notes not all devices will receive notifications.

“Device compatibility, software version, phone settings and connection to an LTE network can impact whether the alert is received,” the organization says.

According to Alert Ready’s website only phones on an LTE network at the time the alert is issued will receive it. (Aaron Amat/Shutterstock)

Canadians who don’t receive the test notification are advised to check the settings on their phones, update operating system software and make sure they are connected to an LTE network.

Phones not on an LTE mobile network when the alert is issued will not receive it, the Alert Ready website says.

Better information

B.C. MLA Jennifer Rice, who serves as the province’s parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness, said the test will hopefully provide a progress update on Alert Ready.

She said compatibility issues have not all been worked out but the system is getting better.

“We’ve made improvements and we’ve learned about problems,” Rice said. “We’re continuously improving and it’s getting better and better and more people are receiving the notification.

“It’ll be a good test for us to see where we’re at tomorrow.”

Rice said B.C.’s tsunami warning in 2018 is a good example of how a system like Alert Ready could help.

It was a scary situation, she said, and many people didn’t have accurate information about where to go. If Alert Ready had been in place, people could have been directed to information from local authorities, Rice said.

“All emergencies start local,” she said. “So the best source of information is from your local government or local representation.”

This story originally appeared on CBC

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