Canada to Issue First Wireless Public Alerts
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 | Comments

Government agencies across Canada will issue the first annual public awareness tests of Alert Ready's new wireless public alerting capability during Emergency Preparedness Week. Participating provincial and territorial authorities will each distribute one province- or territorial-wide public awareness test message over radio, television and to compatible wireless devices at scheduled times.

All Canadians with compatible wireless devices will receive the test message. The text and audio of the Alert Ready messages will clearly identify them as test alerts. Test messages will also be accompanied by an alert tone — the Canadian Alerting Attention Signal — that will last for eight seconds on compatible wireless devices. Canadians are not required to take any action during the test. Canadians may be required to acknowledge receipt of the alerts to allow their wireless devices to resume normal operation.

Public awareness tests bring attention to the look and sound of emergency alerts. These tests can take place up to five times per year and have been issued since May 2015 over radio and television. The wireless component of Alert Ready is included in all of these tests and will only appear on compatible wireless devices once per year, during Emergency Preparedness Week.

As of April 6, 2018, wireless service providers have been capable of distributing alerts received from authorized authorities warning of threat-to-life situations, such as Amber Alerts or tornado warnings, directly to compatible wireless devices connected to LTE networks. Alert Ready has distributed emergency alerts over TV and radio broadcast since 2015. Alert Ready is free to consumers, and no sign-up or app is required to receive Alert Ready messages on wireless devices.

Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) takes place each year during the first full week of May. This national event is coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces, territories and partners to increase awareness of individual and family preparedness.

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