Canadians to receive second emergency alert system test

On November 28th devices across Canada will receive a public emergency alert system test message through Alert Ready, Canada’s national public testing system.

When the alert is issued, some Canadians will receive the alert via cable and satellite, TV, radio, web feed, and other compatible devices, according to the press release.

The message will be delivered to all compatible devices at 1:55pm local time. However, Quebec will receive the test message at 2:55pm.

The alert system was developed for the sole purpose of warning the public of any major threats, including acts of terrorism and natural disasters.

This is the second test of the national wireless emergency Alert System this year. The first-ever nationwide emergency alert test happened during Emergency Preparedness Week in May 2018.

Will all Canadians receive the emergency alert system test?

However, several people across the country said they did not receive the alert message on their mobile devices.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) says there are a variety of different reasons why people may not receive their alert.

“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,” said Robert Ghiz, President and CEO of CWTA, in a news release.

“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,” he added.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) aims to install Alert Ready’s software onto 50% of new devices in Canada.

Over time, they said that more devices will be compatible with the software, as they intend to increase the number of phones with the emergency alert software to 100% by April 2019.

“Testing all components” of the alert system

The CTRC says a national test will provide them with the opportunity to validate and test the reliability of their new alert system.

“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.”

Over 100 emergency alerts have been sent to people devices since April. For example, on September 21,  phones, radios and televisions across the Ottawa-Gatineau region received an alert message notifying people of tornadoes in and around the area.

“Although Canada’s public alerting system could not save people’s homes or properties, it provided people with precious time to seek shelter from the catastrophic winds and flying debris,” the press released explained of the September alerts.

Written by Islam Soliman