(Black Press Media files)

Cellphones, radio, TV stations to broadcast emergency alert system test today

The CRTC said the emergency alerts have been credited with saving lives

Wireless devices, radio and TV stations will issue emergency messages today, but there isn’t anything to be alarmed about.

The squawky signals from provincial and territorial emergency management systems across the country — except in Nunavut — will be transmitted to test the national public alert system.

The alerts are designed to warn of imminent threats or emergencies, such as floods, tornadoes, fires or Amber Alerts.

Depending on where you live, the tests will be conducted mid-morning or early afternoon.

The emergency alerts have become a familiar sound since the national public alert system was first tested in early 2018, revealing glitches in several provinces.

Since January, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says 125 emergency messages have been issued, warning Canadians of potentially life-threatening situations.

The CRTC said the emergency alerts have been credited with saving lives.

READ MORE: B.C. to run another test of emergency alert system for cell phones, wireless devices

Some alert recipients, however, have considered them an annoyance, sparking complaints on social media — and even to 911 operators — that the emergency warnings came too late at night or were targeting the wrong geographic area.

The complaints have prompted often heated debates about their necessity in helping to find missing children or to warn of emergencies.

Pelmorex Corp., which operates the system’s technical infrastructure, says the tests are necessary to ensure the system is working properly and to educate Canadians on what the warning signals look and sound like.

To receive alerts, compatible wireless devices must be equipped with the latest operating software. They must also be connected to an LTE network when the alert is issued.

All wireless devices sold by service providers after April 6, 2019 are required to be capable of issuing the public alerts.

Canadians with compatible devices who don’t receive the test are being asked to contact their wireless service provider.

Here is when the test signals are scheduled to be transmitted:

Alberta 1:55 p.m. MST

British-Colombia 1:55 p.m. PST

Manitoba 1:55 p.m. CST

New-Brunswick 10:55 a.m. AST

Newfoundland and Labrador 10:55 a.m. NST

Northwest Territories 9:55 a.m. MST

Nova Scotia 1:55 p.m. AST

Nunavut — No test

Ontario 2:55 p.m. EST

Prince Edward Island 12:55 p.m. AST

Quebec 1:55 p.m. EST

Saskatchewan 1:55 p.m. CST

Yukon 1:55 p.m. PST

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberni floor curlers win tournament in Nanoose Bay

Four teams from Port Alberni compete on the road

Award-winning documentary shares the modern story of Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Broadcast premiere of documentary will take place in Port Alberni on Jan. 29

Australian investigators head to C-130 plane crash site

B.C. gov’t makes statement, sends condolences to Coulson Aviation

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway to open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday before shutting down for 24 hours

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake.

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Most Read