BC smartphones to receive test alert Wednesday afternoon

Your smartphone is going to get an emergency message just before 2 p.m. today — but don’t worry no high water is on the way.

Emergency Management BC expects to be conducting a second test of a new wireless alerting system 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. last April. An initial test was conducted in May.

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.

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.

Wireless compatibility information is available at: www.alertready.ca.

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