B.C. conducting second test of emergency alert to wireless devices

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  • VICTORIA –A test of the new wireless alerting system will be conducted for a second time as part of the national Alert Ready system to improve public safety in the event of emergency.

    “The key to emergency alerting is to reach as many people on as many communication platforms as possible,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The addition of emergency alerts on wireless devices is another valuable way to reach out to the public in an emergency. These alerts will be issued alongside routine television and radio tests as an added complement to these and other emergency alerting mediums already in use.”

    The expansion of the existing radio and television alerting system to include cellular devices was launched in B.C. on April 6, 2018, and an initial test was conducted on May 9, 2018. Emergency Management BC is responsible for issuing emergency notifications on the Alert Ready system in the province and will initially use wireless alerting for tsunami threats only, with plans to expand to other emergencies and hazards in the future.

    “Alerts can provide valuable information and notice, but individuals also have to do their part,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “As you ensure your devices have up-to-date software and are compatible for the alerts, also take the time to prepare your emergency kit and create a plan for hazards.”

    The emergency alerts will be issued, alongside routine television and radio tests, to compatible wireless devices, such as smartphones. The test message will 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.”

    (BC NDP website)

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