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Province to conduct test of emergency alert Wednesday

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:25 PST, Tue November 15, 2022

At 1:55 p.m. Pacific time tomorrow (Nov. 16) Emergency Management BC will conduct a test of B.C.'s emergency alerting system as part of the national Alert Ready system to improve public safety in the event of emergency.

The system was launched in B.C. on April 6, 2018, and is tested twice each year.

In spring 2022, the province expanded the Alert Ready system to include alerts for wildfires, floods, and extreme-heat emergencies, in addition to tsunamis, civil emergencies, and Amber Alerts.

During the test, an alert will be broadcast on radio and TV stations, as well as to compatible wireless devices, such as cellphones. The message will read: "This is a TEST of the BC emergency alert system, issued by Emergency Management BC. This is ONLY a TEST. In an actual emergency, this message would contain instructions to help keep you and your community safe. Learn more about how, when, and why emergency alerts are issued in BC at emergencyinfobc.ca/alert. This is ONLY a TEST. No action is required."

The National Public Alerting System, publicly branded as Alert Ready, is a collaborative initiative between federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as industry partners. It provides a standard alerting capability to rapidly warn the public of imminent or unfolding hazards to life safety.

To receive alerts, cellphones must be connected to an LTE cellular network (the device must be turned on and cannot be set to do not disturb or airplane mode), be alert-compatible, be within the alert area, and have up-to-date cellular software. Emergency alerts are broadcast automatically at no cost to the user.

In accordance with a 2014 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision, all radio and TV broadcasters in Canada are mandated to broadcast public alerts. On April 6, 2017, the CRTC mandated wireless service providers be capable of sending wireless public alerts in Canada by April 6, 2018.

British Columbians may wish to participate in a short online survey following the test to help determine the reach of the Alert Ready test. The survey is administered by Public Emergency Alerting Services Inc.
• Survey in English: peasi.com/emergency-alert-test-survey.html

• Survey in French: peasi.com/enquete-de-test-dalerte-durgence.html

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