Cell phones, televisions and radios will be ringing Wednesday (May 5) just before 2 p.m. as the province is set to test its Emergency Alerting System.
The test of the system, issued by Emergency Management British Columbia, will happen at 1:55 p.m. PDT. During the test, the public will hear an alert tone and see a message on their devices.
The testing will determine the system’s readiness for an actual emergency as well as identify any issues prior to formal implementation in B.C.
The biannual test was launched in the province on April 6, 2018. A scheduled test in May 2020 was cancelled across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last test of the system was conducted on Nov. 25, 2020.
Alerts received on a wireless device will be received if the smartphone uses an LTE (4G) network with up-to-date software and within the emergency alert area. Some carriers are doing silent tests of their systems in advance of the test; depending on the phone setting an individual may receive an alert without a sound.
For those who are visually or hearing impaired, alternate formats of the alerts may be used, however, not every alerting authority or device has the capability to produce or receive these formats, such as text-to-speech software and vibration features.
Broadcasted alerts include fire, natural disasters, biological, hazardous, environmental, terrorist and civil.
The Emergency Info B.C. web page has information on how the system will work. It includes a link to the Alert Ready page where people can check to see if their mobile phone is compatible with the system.
The subsequent testing date is set for Nov. 17, 2021 at 1:55 p.m. PST.
For more information visit alertready.ca.