Wireless emergency alerts go live in BC this Friday.
The notifications will be issued through the national Alert Ready program and sent to smartphones and other wireless devices to ensure people have the information they need to act quickly in an emergency.
“Accurate and timely information in an emergency situation can save lives and livelihoods, and we need to deploy every tool available to alert people of potential public safety threats,” says Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “As technology improves, we are always looking for new ways to broaden our reach and reduce the time it takes to communicate critical safety information. Wireless alerts will help us achieve both of those objectives.”
Wireless alerts will be publicly tested for the first time in BC on May 9th, , at 1:55 p.m. (Pacific time), alongside routine television and radio tests.
Emergency Management BC is the sole agency responsible for issuing emergency notifications on the Alert Ready system in the province, and will initially issue such alerts for tsunami threats only.
The province is considering expanding the use of Alert Ready beyond tsunamis to include other hazards and emergencies, such as for wildfires, in the future.
Wireless alerts will contain instructions for a safe response, and all British Columbians are urged to abide by these instructions without delay.
In order to receive alerts, mobile phones must be connected to a cellular network, be alert-compatible and within the alert area. They will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user.
Wireless-compatibility information is available at: www.alertready.ca